Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Screen

Screen

  • Place of origin:

    Tokyo (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1938 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Serizawa, Keisuke, born 1895 - died 1984 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stencil-resist-dyeing on silk; brown silk ground; wooden frame with metal corner reinforcements; backed with hand-made paper

  • Museum number:

    FE.20-1985

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This six-panel screen depicts stages in the manufacture of traditional Japanese paper at the village of Ogawa in Saitama Prefecture, where Serizawa taught in the mid-1930s. The six stages shown are: boiling the branches of the paper mulberry tree; washing the boiled mulberry fibres in running water; softening the fibres by beating them with mallets; moulding the paper in a frame; removing excess water in a press; and drying the sheets of paper on boards in the sun. Handmade paper created in this way is used to back the screen.

Serizawa was one of Japan’s foremost textile artists. He became an active member of the Japanese Folk Craft (Mingei) Movement after meeting its founder, Yanagi Soetsu (1889-1961), in 1927. He decided to become a textile artist after seeing a group of wrapping cloths from Okinawa at an exhibition in Tokyo the following year. These cloths had been dyed by the bingata method, historically practised in Okinawa using stencil resist and bright mineral pigments. Although Serizawa did not travel to Okinawa until 1939, the vibrant colours and bold designs of bingata textiles inspired his work from the outset.

Physical description

This six panel screen depicts the stages in the traditional manufacture of paper (read from right to left) at the village of Ogawa in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Handcrafted Japanese paper made by the same process and striped horizontally with black and red wavy lines, is used to back the screen.
The design, against a cream silk ground, is executed in the complex stencil resist process known as bingata, a process unique to Okinawa where Serizawa Keisuke (1895-1984) learnt the technique in the late 1920s. The stencilled pictures are positioned towards the top of each panel and are surrounded by rich light brown silk. The panels are edged with a binding of dark blue fabric.
There are metal corner reinforcements on the first and last panels.

Place of Origin

Tokyo (made)

Date

ca. 1938 (made)

Artist/maker

Serizawa, Keisuke, born 1895 - died 1984 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Stencil-resist-dyeing on silk; brown silk ground; wooden frame with metal corner reinforcements; backed with hand-made paper

Dimensions

Height: 81.5 cm, Width: 214.0 cm

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number: 1985/157.

Historical context note

The six stages of paper production depicted on the screen are: boiling the branches of paper mulberry and washing the boiled mulberry fibres in running water, softening the fibres by beating them with mallets, moulding the paper in a frame, removing excess water in a press and drying the sheets of paper on boards in the sun.

Serizawa's discovery of the bold colours and designs of textiles from Okinawa inspired him to learn and use in his own work the resist-stencilling technique of bingata.

See the 'Serizawa', catalogue to the exhibition at the Grand Palais, Paris, 1976-77, p.42 (FED Library Box 1, 3F.21) for a similar screen by Serizawa.

Descriptive line

Six-fold screen, cream silk on a wooden frame stencilled with the stages of paper-making, six-panel, Serizawa Keisuke, Tokyo, Kamata-cho, Japan, ca. 1938

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Earle, J. (editor), Japanese Art and Design: The Toshiba Gallery Guide, London: V&A Publications, 1986 pp.205-7.
Jackson, Anna, Japanese Textiles in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 2000, plate 116

Labels and date

Six-Fold Screen
The process of paper-making
Okinawan bingata type kataezome (stencil-picture resist-dyed) patterning on silk.
Serizawa Keisuke (1895-1984)
Late 1930s []

Production Note

Tokyo, Kamata-cho

Materials

Silk; Paper; Wood; Metal

Techniques

Dyed

Subjects depicted

Paper-making

Categories

Folk Art; Textiles

Collection

East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.