Kitamura Takeshi: Master of Contemporary Weaving

 Coat of ra with double crossed pattern (1982)
 The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
  Born in Kyoto in 1935, Takeshi Kitamura began his career in a weaving industry in Nishijin, Kyoto, after graduating from a local junior high school. After 5 years, he retired from a weaving shop where he had been employed, and devoted himself to learning a wide variety of textile techniques at various workshops in Nishijin. Upon visiting the Exhibition of Heizo Tatsumura the First at the Takashimaya Department Store in Osaka in 1959, he was duly impressed by the skills and artistic values of the master, and he joined the Tatsumura Textile Company on that very same day. He went on to further polish his skills and continually strove to create his own style of textile. In 1963, he joined a textile study group organized by the noted Yuzen artist, Kako Moriguchi. Kitamura soon emerged as one of the finest textile artisans in Japan, receiving such prestigious awards as the Chairman of Japan Art Crafts Association Prize in 1965, when he first participated in the 2nd Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition of Japanese Textile, and having his first submission selected for display in the 12th Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition in the same year.
  Kitamura became very much interested in the ancient fabrics called "ra (a transparent twist-woven gauze-type fabric which at first sight looks like knitted cloth)" when he saw a photograph of an ancient fabric excavated in China at the "Dynasty Tombs at Mawangtui, Changsha; Former Han: News Photographs Exhibition" held in 1972. He then tried to recreate "ra" fabrics using extremely delicate weaving techniques, and presented numerous excellent works at the 19th Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition. He also succeeded in reproducing ancient weaving techniques such as "ra-kin (a complex, transparent gauze-type fabric made from flat gold threads)" and a durable, tightly woven damask called "tate-nishiki (a warp-faced, compound weave brocade)."
  Since the designation of "ra" as an important intangible cultural property in 1995, and that of "tate-nishiki" in 2000, Kitamura has played a vital role in the modern textile industry as the holder of these two precious ancient weaving techniques.
Fabric of tate-nishiki for kimono
 with pattern of flower on hexagon (1983)
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
photo: OHORI Kazuhiko
  As a textile artist living in the modern age, Kitamura has not only recreated ancient weaving techniques, but has also made unstinting efforts to rethink and expand the boundaries of the field of textile arts and crafts. Weaving requires true dedication and hard work, and such high levels of discipline are the hallmark of the austere craftsman entirely dedicated to the expression of beauty and the perfection of his art. Commemorating the 60th anniversary of Takeshi Kitamura's long career as a textile artist, this exhibition features a variety of works of this remarkable artist who has continued to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world by exploring new possibilities and redefining the limitations of textile arts and crafts.

Exhibition dates
Friday, September 16– Sunday, October 30, 2011
Closed on Mondays
Exception: Open on September 19 (Mon./holiday), October 10 (Mon./holiday)
Closed on September 20 (Tue.), October 11 (Tue.)

9:30AM–5:00PM (admission until 4:30PM)
*October 27 (Thu.)- 30 (Sun.) Opened until 8:00PM (Admission until 7:30OPM)

The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto

Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd.

  Day of admission advance Group (20 or more)
Adult 850 700 600
University students 450 350 250
High school students
and younger
Free Free Free

*Collection gallery is available with this ticket.
* Visitors with disability and one person accompanying them are
 admitted free of charge.(Please present certificate at the admission.)
*Advance tickets:
 Ticket Pia (P-code: 764-726)
 Lawson  (L-code:52925)
 Other major ticket vendors and convenience stores
*Advance tickets are available for a limited period only. (7/8-9/15)

KITAMURA Takeshi Exhibition

Related events
Lecture: "My Way to My Works"
Date & Time: October 1 (Sat.), 2011 2:00-3:30PM
(numbered tickets distributed 11:00AM-)
Place: 1F lecture hall
Fee: Free admission, maximum capacity 100
Lecturer: KITAMURA Takeshi
in Japanese only

Lecture: "Vitality and Cultural Background Hidden in Patterns"
Date & Time: October 8 (Sat.), 2011 2:00-3:30PM
(numbered tickets distributed 11:00AM-)
Place: 1F lecture hall
Fee: Free admission, maximum capacity 100
Lecturer: TATSUTA Yoji (Professor, University of Shizuoka)
in Japanese only

Publicity materials
Flyer PDF(1.2MB)


Other Museum
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Crafts & Design
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