In this the second of the series of Japanese object(s) loaned from the collection of John Hutchison is a group of loose papers wrapped in blue textile cloth. Furoshiki are a type of Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts or other goods. The term shiki means a ' prescribed way of doing something ' The idea dates back possibly to the Nara period ( Ad 710 to 794 ) but the name meaning “ bath spread “ derives from the Edo period ( between 1603 and 1868 ) where the practice of using them to bundle clothes whilst at the sento or public baths, to prevent bathers clothes from being mixed up. Before this association, furoshiki were known as hirazutsumi or flat folded bundle. Modern furoshiki can be made of a variety of cloths including silk, rayon and nylon. The furoshiki in this exhibition is a square material of blue cloth tied by the corners and knotted at the top which contain loose papers which are possibly ledgers or letters. It has never been opened whilst in the present collection. The object dates from the Meiji–Taisho period which is from July 30 1912 to December 25 1926, a time named after the reign of Emperor Taisho. This period represents the first half of the Empire of Japan during which Japanese society moved from being an isolated feudal one to its modern form.

This object has opened a connection with the unframed blue drawings of Jane Proctor. The series of drawings are made on handmade Japanese Kozu Shi paper giving a fine light weight look contrasted by the hand painted white lines on the blue making it appear to be a typical Japanese textile. The pieces are drawn using a small brush with watercolour or gouache paint and sometimes the background is painted first with one or two layers of blue. The association between this furoshiki and the drawings is not only visual but the philosophy of the Japanese aesthetic and the process of making work would be one that sits comfortably with the artist. To quote the art critic Aidan Dunne in his review of the exhibition - ( the ) “ drawings relate to weaving in their repetitive, intricately detailed, process driven patterns. They generate rich, shimmering textures in which minute variations entailed by the handmade nature of the work play a vital role. Each is painstakingly built up with movements of the hand using a small brush ...”

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