Yuzen History Mix

Exposition of Kimono designs

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January 17 until February 23, 2003

Opening Friday 17 January, 20.00u

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Yuzen History Mix
Yuzen History Mix shows kimono designs by traditional Japanese artists and international contemporary artists. The designs in MU are presented on panels of 270 cm x 90 cm, which show the traditional designs on one side and the designs by international young artists on the reverse side. The designers, who originate from three different continents, express themselves in a universal designer's idiom. A large number of the participants are rooted in street art forms, such as graffiti and art expressions in public spaces. The exhibition was shown in Tokyo in the summer of 2001. The 23 panels are now on display outside Japan for the very first time.

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Background
Yuzen History Mix was founded at the behest of the 450-year-old Japanese manufacturer Chiso (Kyoto). Chiso produces textiles with ingenious handcrafted patterns by means of the ancient Kyo-Yuzen technique, which was developed by and named after Miyazaki Yuzensai, a famous 17th century Japanese fan-painter. The Yuzen dyeing technique makes it possible to adorn kimonos with ornate, colourful and vivid patterns without causing the colours to run. Chiso aspires to create new values by continually defining new boundaries and by introducing young fashionistas to the ancient traditions of Yuzen. What will be the outcome of the confrontation between youth culture and traditional culture? One of the initiators of the project was ‘Thunderbirds’ from Los Angeles. In Japan, they represent Delta, the only Dutch participator in the project. This is what they say about Yuzen History Mix: “Is there anything more appropriate in the art world of the year 2002 than the collaboration of two genres that could be considered to be opposite forces: street art and the time-honoured traditions of Yuzen? It is extremely fascinating to observe the linear intensity and colour application of the participating artists, as skilful Japanese craftsmen transform the various elements into a scroll.”

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Participating artists
On account of the quality of their work and their “poppy hipness”, the following artists were selected to take part in Yuzen History Mix: Ari, Futura 2000, Kaws, Leche, Lee Quinones, Rostarr, Shag, Stash (all from the U.S.A.), Ash from Kopenhagen, Ben Drury from Londen, Delta from the Netherlands (Amsterdam), Fafi, Florence Degas and Lokiss from France, Atsuhiro Imai, Hajime Matsuda, Kami, Motohiko Odani, Naohiro Ukawa, Sasuke, Takashi Murakami, Tight©Mangart and Tim Shandro from Japan.
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Earlier this year, Mu presented the revolutionary works in 3D and 2D styles by graffiti artist Delta, and works by Kaws, who has won international acclaim by manipulating all kinds of displays used for advertising, such as billboards.

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Futura 2000

debuted on the graffiti art scene in the 70's. At the moment he is widely known for his collaboration with a large number of clothing labels and fashion houses, including Gravis, A Bathing Ape, Undercover and Nike.

Takashi Murakami
One of Japan’s most celebrated contemporary artists, Murakami also manages to find time to nurture young artistic talent as well as produce and sponsor art events. In 2001 his works were on display at the Boston Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and NYC's Central Station.

DJ Shingo Star
The opening of Yuzen History Mix will take place in MU on Friday 17 January 2003 at 8 p.m. During the opening night, Shingo Star, one of Tokyo's hottest DJs, will present a mix of hip-hop, new wave, pop and other beats and breaks.

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