BORO: THE FABRIC OF LIFE

Exhibition on Japanese Recycled Textiles is Focus of Parsons Fellowship Program at Domaine de Boisbuchet


Boro Installation Photograph
Boro: The Fabric of Life
On view through Sept 15, 2013
Domaine de Boisbuchet
16500 Lessac, France
www.boisbuchet.org

Lessac, France, July 10, 2013—Domaine de Boisbuchet, a country estate in the Southwest of France renowned as an international site of experimentation in design and architecture, presents BORO: THE FABRIC OF LIFE, an exhibition of Japanese recycled and patch-worked textiles. The exhibition is being presented in collaboration with Parsons The New School for Design, and opens the 2013 season at Boisbuchet.

The exhibition features approximately 50 ingeniously repaired futon covers, kimonos, work garments and other handmade household textiles or “boro” (Japanese for rags), which were created by Japanese peasants between 1850 and 1950 using leftover, indigo dyed cotton. Damaged and worn garments were often recuperated, repurposed and refashioned by poorer Japanese populations and repeatedly mended from generation to generation without being thrown away. The results, although once a sign of shame for many, are now recognized as beautiful, ingenious repairs that can inform our current global culture with the Japanese notion of “mottainai” or “waste nothing.”

Most of the pieces come from the private collection of New York-based gallerist Stephen Szczepanek, who curated the exhibition with Mathias Schwartz-Clauss, Boisbuchet’s artistic director. Exhibited together with the boro is a group of inventively conceived textiles from Bangladesh handmade from recycled saris by a cooperative of women supported by the German architect Anna Heringer. In addition to Stephen Szczepanek, the exhibition is based on the collections of Amy Katch, Kei Kawasaki, Naohito Shikama, and Anna Heringer.

Through a fellowship program, Parsons students Christopher Koelsch, Kamala Murali, Andrés González-Bode and Alana Jiwa assisted Schwartz-Clauss, Szczepanek and their assistant Christian J. Altherr in the design and installation of the exhibition. Set within 300 square meters of space in the Boisbuchet chateau, Parsons students worked with the exhibition team to install objects, images, text, and video; and construct, paint and arrange backdrops for display.

The fellowship program, now in its third year, was developed by Parsons in collaboration with the Centre International de Recherche et d'Éducation Culturelle et Agricole (CIRECA), the organization that oversees cultural activities at Boisbuchet, which is headed by Alexander von Vegesack, co-founding director of the Vitra Design Museum. In 2012, students helped design an exhibition of works by Dutch designer Maria Blaisse entitled Moving Meshes.

Alexander von Vegesack and Bridget O’Rourke initiated the collaboration between CIRECA and Parsons The New School for Design.

About Parsons The New School for Design
Parsons The New School for Design is one of the leading art and design schools in the world, and builds on The New School’s legacy of progressive ideals, scholarship, and pedagogy. For over a century, the school has pioneered art and design education, establishing the first programs in fashion, interior design and communication design in the nation. Based in New York City but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For more information, please visit www.newschool.edu/parsons.

About Parsons Paris
In fall 2013, Parsons will open a new academic center in Paris, offering students from around the world an innovative education that addresses the global nature of contemporary art and design while integrating the distinct culture and philosophy of this European capital. Parsons Paris builds upon the school’s long history of engagement in Paris—in 1921, Parsons became the first American art and design school to establish a presence in Paris, and since that time the school has maintained a close relationship with the city's design and cultural community. Parsons Paris presents exciting new opportunities for interaction with the influential Parisian and broader European art and design community. For more information, visit www.newschool.edu/parsonsparis.

About Domaine Boisbuchet
The Domaine de Boisbuchet, an idyllic country estate in the Poitou-Charentes and Limousin region, features a large landscaped park with pavilions designed by internationally acclaimed architects, temporary exhibitions in its uninhabited, 19th-century chateau, and a bistro with a small design shop located in a historic mill on the banks of the river Vienne. In cooperation with the Centre Georges Pompidou and Vitra Design Museum, a series of workshops are organized in the summer months under the direction of internationally recognized artists, designers and architects. For more information, please visit www.boisbuchet.org.

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