On January 15th, Hawaii’s own Academy of Arts had the pleasure of hosting an exhibition honoring the passion and talent of artist Akihiko Izukura. Mr. Izukura is a traditionally trained textile designer who focuses on a philosophy that’s both inspiring and commendable:

Treat Nature Tenderly
Respect Nature
Live with Nature 

The decision of coming to Hawaii to share his story and ideals started with the simple thought of coming here to “collaborate with the nature of Hawaii,” and he did just that!  After years of preparation between his own organization International Association of Natural Textile and the Academy of Arts, Mr. Izukura was able to formally put up several installations which showcased a multitude of his work which included ethical textile dyeing and fashion design. His artfully placed fabrics towered over the building and hung from trees, there were kids and adults engaging in the installations, all the while birds were chirping as to signify a form of unity between his art and nature.

Izukura’s work ethic was brought to life when he performed (much like a traditional Japanese tea ceremony) what is known as Senshoku-do. This is the technique of dyeing fabrics using natural elements that eliminates the production of CO2. As he went through the calculated process of dyeing, spectators saw that there was very little amount of dye wasted and that Izukura utilized every drop of water, dye, and fabric. Upon closing the ceremony, he placed all his instruments back in the same position they were in, took a deep breathe inward, and politely bowed to his audience.

 

Afterward, guests and attendees were brought back to the Arts Center to admire more detailed diagrams of just how Izukura creates everything. You were able to see what elements he uses to dye (plants and flowers) and the four textile methods that he uses to make his wearable art. What was significantly interesting to learn is that often times when creating silk, the silk worm is killed during the process of retrieving the silk it makes; in the case with Izukura, each silk worm is tediously taken care of so that way its life is preserved once the silk is extracted.

 

To learn more about Akihiko Izukura please visit his website:
www.iant-jp.com