Yoshiko Jinzenji & Gao Yu

Artist TALKS & Afternoon Tea

Bamboo Dyeing & Quilt Creation
Yoshiko Jinzenji from Kyoto, Japan
Han Text in Ethnic Textile & Indigo Work Clothing in Zhejiang, China
Gao Yu from Beijing China

19 January 2020 | 13:30 – 16:30
Slow Fiber Studios Annex | 1825 Eighth St, Berkeley, CA 94710
$30 WSN Members | $35 Non-WSN-Members

Join us this Sunday in welcoming two friends of Slow Fiber Studios, Yoshiko Jinzenji from Kyoto, Japan and Gao Yu from Beijing, China.

Jinzenji SFS (1)

An informal presentation on the work and life of Yoshiko Jinzenji, who is the foremost contemporary quilt artist in Japan and a natural dyer focused on distinctive bamboo coloring from Bali. Her tour-de-force quilt work from 1980 to 2000 chronicles fabric from the renowned textile designer, the late Junichi Arai. She is also well known for the nature-inspired textile making in her Bali studio, which she kept for 25 years working with local artisans. She is a connoisseur of traditional arts and crafts of Japan and China: calligraphy, tea ceremony, cuisine, and incense. She will stage the modern tea ceremony she developed in collaboration with artists and artisans from Asia.

Gao YU SFS (1)

Inspired by his research for upcoming exhibition at Museo Textil de Oaxaca, Gao Yu examined Han characters incorporated into textile designs by minority peoples in China. Most Chinese ethnic groups have no written language so their designs carry cultural stories and beliefs that enrich their lives with colors and patterns. After looking through his family’s collection of Chinese minority textiles, he found that ethnic groups from different regions have adopted the Han characters in distinctive ways. Some convey the original meanings of the characters and others incorporate them as motifs in their traditional design systems. Gao Yu will describe this rich cultural background and discuss the political and social factors that have influenced the emergence of ethnic-minority motifs within Han-majority China.

In the second part of his talk, Gao Yu will introduce a sample of lesser-known indigo-dyed work clothes worn daily by the Han community of Zhejiang Province during the early half of the 1900s. The talk will be supplemented by historical examples of garments from Yoshiko I. Wada’s collection.


Visiting Presenters

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 10.17.53 AMYoshiko Jinzenji is a Kyoto-based quilt artist and teacher who has been quilting for four decades. Her work is internationally recognized and has been exhibited at some of the world’s biggest quilt exhibitions.  Jinzenji’s pieces can be seen in the permanent collections of the following museums: Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas (Kansas), International Quilt Study Center & Museum (Nebraska), Museum of Art and Design (EN New York), New England Quilt Museum (Massachusetts), and Victoria and Albert Museum (London).  Her publications include Quilt Artistry: Inspired Design from the East (2008), Simple Quilt (JP 2005) (FR 2008), and Quilting Line + Color: Techniques and Design for Abstract Quilts (EN 2011)

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 10.18.11 AM

Gao Yu is a Beijing-based researcher and translator, specializing in ethnic textiles. Curiosity drove him to travel throughout Asia and experience unique hand weaving and natural dye techniques firsthand. He is the Chinese language  translator of The Roots of Asian Weaving: He Haiyan Textile and Loom Collection of Southwest China by Eric Boudot and Chris Buckley, as well as of educational articles related to ethnic weaving. Gao Yu is a worldwide traveler and international intern at Slow Fiber Studios and the World Shibori Network.  He has studied and worked closely with SFS founder Yoshiko I. Wada in China, India, and Japan. He will share his passion for ethnic textiles from his native country and his experience of and knowledge about Southeast Asian and Chinese textiles.