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Journey to Tree of Life

April 11th - July 13th, 2019
Open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

"Kantha" Recycled and embroidered textiles, Bengal area, India
"Kantha" Recycled and embroidered textiles, Bengal area, India
"Kalamkari" Hangings of Woodblock prints, Coromandel Coast, India
Veil for ceremony, Gujarat, India
photo:Ryohei Sasatani

Journey to Tree of Life

Hiroko Iwatate

     I believe that my journey throughout the world has taught me almost everything that I needed, and I wondered how much time I have spent in India. 80 visits in total, approximately 35 days of stay per visit, which means 2800 days. I have spent 7 years and 306 days, almost 8 years, in India. During the journey, I can not describe how much I felt blessed by the “Tree of Life”.

     Every tree absorbs water and spreads out the branches toward the sun. Flowers bloom and fruits are borne bringing soft shades. The Kalamkari hangings from Coromandel Coast of India depict such scene with its beautiful detailed woodblock prints. At the same time, Zoroastrians in Iran began to use cypress for their textile design which symbolizes eternal life. Wondrously, the two different countries shared same design for their textiles.

     The “Tree of Life” could also be seen on appliqué hangings of Kutch and on Kantha embroidery in Bengal. The design and pattern come in different styles. The textiles could be designed intricately depicting the tree from the corners to the center, symbolizing good luck, or simply presenting the tree itself. In Islamic areas the trees are often designed and favoured.

     For this exhibition we have selected the theme which we have most valued. Fortunately, Ms. Jahanara visited while our preparation and promised to contribute to our exhibition by giving a lecture during the exhibit. It is my pleasure to present the exhibition with such an incredible encounter.