Exhibition: “Alternative Futures: contemporary design responses to the 300 year Tango chirimen tradition” at the D-lab Tokyo Gallery

KYOTO Design Lab [D-lab] will hold the exhibition “Alternative Futures: contemporary design responses to the 300 year Tango chirimen tradition” curated by Professor Julia Cassim [KYOTO Design Lab] and Associate Professor Kaori Ueda [Kyoto Saga University of Arts], at D-lab Tokyo Gallery.

Photo  SERICIN+ | designed by Scarlett Yang


2020 marks the 300th anniversary of Tango chirimen production. Designers from eight countries in D-lab’s international network were asked to reconsider conceptually its structure and surface and propose new and future scenarios through collaboration, materials experimentation and new graphic approaches.

Alternative Futures: contemporary design responses to the 300 year Tango chirimen tradition

Period: Saturday 31 October – Sunday 27 December, 2020
Venue: KYOTO Design Lab Tokyo Gallery (3331 Arts Chiyoda) [MAP]
Open: 12:00–19:00
Closed: Monday, Tuesday
Admission free
Organized by KYOTO Design Lab, Kyoto Institute of Technology
Exhibition Design: Misato Kanazawa, Aya Takeda, Kazuma Hiraoka (Masahiro Kinoshita Laboratory)
Supported by Organizing committee for the 300th anniversary of TANGO CHIRIMEN Textile / Kyoto Prefectural Institute for Northern Industry

Professor Julia Cassim [KYOTO Design Lab, Kyoto Institute of Technology]
Associate Professor Kaori Ueda [Kyoto Saga University of Arts]


Works / Designer

Ligia Lopes
Portuguese designer and participatory design activist with a PhD in Industrial Design. Invited professor at the Department of Communication and Arts at the University of Aveiro and at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto.


Martine Rey
Internationally-recognised French lacquer artist specialising in urushi who explores the potential of this multifaceted natural material in non-traditional ways and in combination with other media, inventing techniques to realise her vision.


3|Sensory Pleasure
Shioka Okamoto
With an MA in textile design from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2016 and a graduate of Tama Art University in Tokyo, she has been assistant professor at the Faculty of Design, Okayama Prefectural University since 2017.


Tiffany Loy
Singaporean textile weaver, first trained in industrial design with an MA in textiles from the RCA whose experimental works have been exhibited internationally, at such venues as Singapore Art Museum, Kyoto Municipal Art Museum, and La Triennale di Milano.


5|Deconstructed Geometry
Kangan Arora
Textile designer specializing in print and pattern whose work explores bold colour, geometry, abstraction and playful pattern application and with a specific interest in traditional and contemporary colour languages and processes. Born in India, Kangan trained at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London where she is currently a Lecturer in Textile and Jewellery Design.


Aurore Thibout
The multiple award-winning collaborative work of Paris-based fashion, textile and costume designer Aurore Thibout blends media and sustainable approaches, questioning the textile and its form through colour, pattern and weave, while considering how to keep traditions alive.


7|凸凹 Uneven shapes
Milou Voorwinden
Voorwinden is a Dutch textile designer specializing in weave and in developing 3D structures and products on the loom. A graduate of the Product Design department of ArtEZ University of the Arts and inspired by traditional weaving techniques, Voorwinden aims to rediscover, renew and apply them in an innovative way using contemporary digital tools.


6|Renaissance, 7|凸凹 Uneven shapes
Kaori Ueda
Based in Kyoto, Ueda is a fabric designer and researcher and graduate of the RCA specializing in weave. Currently Associate Professor in Textile Design at Kyoto Saga University of Art, her doctoral research centred on the history of traditional textile design in Japan. Through this, she hopes to draw on the originality of Tango chirimen as a means of revitalizing this important area of production.


Scarlett Yang
Hong Kong born but London-based digital fashion and material designer and fashion graduate from Central Saint Martins, UAL. She speculates on material tactility through the language of clothing and fabrics, using a multi-disciplinary experimental design approach that fuses practice in couture ateliers, bio laboratories and digital fabrication labs.


Mika Satomi
Berlin-based artist Mika Satomi explores the combination of textile and craft techniques with electronics technology. Since 2006, Mika has collaborated with Hannah Perner-Wilson, forming the collective KOBAKANT in the field of eTextiles and Wearable Technology Art. She is a coauthor of the e-Textile online database How To Get What You Want.

Emma Wood
A weaver, designer & teacher from the UK based in Berlin. Emma has an MA in Woven Textile Design from RCA. Emma works with museums, artists & designers, exploring fibres, technology & design and pushing the boundaries of a craft that has existed for over 20,000 years.

Yukihiro Tokumoto
Fibre engineer Yukihiro Tokumoto, provides technical support to the Tango textile industry at the Kyoto Prefectural Institute for Northern Industry. A graduate of the Kyoto Institute of Technology. He specializes in the development of textile materials that use twisted yarn and jacquard weaving – the basis of Tango chirimen technology.


Haruka Kitamura (atelier yamanami)
Haruka lives in Shiga and has been a Yamanami artist since 2019 after she graduated from school. Her usual subjects are trains, her family, those with whom she works or has worked and familiar things. Her great interest is in the railways – in trains and bullet trains and she uses books and images of them as inspiration. Her particular technique is to select a background colour, cover a sheet of paper with it using a roller and then to fill the space on this colour ground with myriad circles in low relief using a ballpoint pen.


Hiroko Kawabe (atelier yamanami)
Hiroko lives in Mie in and has been a Yamanami artist since 2006. Her subjects are people and animals and she draws these in an irresistibly lively and humorous manner but which sometimes has sombre undertones. Drawing has been her major means of communication since childhood and she selects her subject matter from art books, magazines or any printed source with images. This ability to transpose imagery in a unique way has led to commissioned work that has been used in the design of packaging, products and CD album jackets.


Misuzu Seko (atelier yamanami)
Misuzu lives in Shiga and has been a Yamanami artist since 2000 producing embroidered works and paintings. Irespective of medium, her consistent theme has been her indelible vision of the beauty of summer fireworks. Her painting technique is to pool pigment on paper and using a straw, to blow patterns of elongated lines that could equally be seen as fireworks or a weeping willow.

Rufo | designed by Ligia Lopes
photo by Tomomi Takano
© KYOTO Design Lab, Kyoto Institute of Technology