A&E Season Preview 2023 – 2024: Japanese Embroidery
An art form with the humblest of origins will be on display at the The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Garden from August 29 through December 3. Japanese Embroidery: a Journey of Tradition and Innovation will feature creations by Winter Park resident Karyn Plater and her students.
Plater trained for decades with Japanese nihon shishu masters both at home and abroad, ultimately becoming a sensei herself in an intricate art form with humble roots. Historically, in eras when cloth was difficult to come by for the vast majority of people in Japan, unmatched bits and pieces of various materials salvaged from worn-out garments were often passed down across generations, to be saved for re-use and woven together for daily wear in intricate, if rough-hewn, artistic patterns.
Over time, that humble domestic artistry became recognized as shishu, a valued skill that was at first used in practice only for religious ceremonial garb and then was appropriated by the higher classes and primarily used to decorate the costumes of Japanese royalty – the pampered “Ladies of the Court.” In modern times, the cultural heritage became more broadly available, first in Japan, then more gradually throughout the world.
Plater’s own designs and material selection are original and distinct, given her lifelong efforts to generate a variegated, metallic, strikingly luminous pallet of her own.