Genbey Kondaya X
‘ Weaving Lalique ’
February 11, 2016 - February 18, 2016
Genbey Yamaguchi, the tenth generation owner of the famous Kyoto obi specialist, Kondaya, which has remained a leader in its field for 278 years, is a rare breed of man. His bold character is like that of a Japanese Samurai of the Sengoku period.
Yamaguchi believes that challenging tradition is the best way to protect it. He uses the skills and old materials passed down to him through the generations. He also incorporates many new methods and materials that are unheard-of to most, defying the notion of what is possible in his craft.
Taking dyeing and weaving skills that trace back to the Heisei era, Yamaguchi strives to pass down these Japanese techniques into the future, as part of a proud tradition within Japanese culture.
This exhibition is entitled ‘ Weaving Lalique’, and the artist – in the spirit of competition - has taken up a direct challenge to Rene Lalique, who played an active part in the creation of glass works in the 19th – 20th century.
Yamaguchi has successfully created obi reminiscent of Lalique’s Art Nouveau glasses containing curved lines and organic motifs like plants and flowers.
Ginza Ippodo Gallery introduces a number of obi, woven with the best threads, color and patterns created by exceptional craftsmen.
1948 Born in the Muromachi area of Kyoto’s Nakagyo district
1980 Succeeded the name Genbey Kondaya X
2002 Created kimono using silk from koishimaru, an ancient species of silkworm indigenous to Japan only recently made available to the wider world after having been cultivated exclusively in the Momijiyama Imperial Cocoonery.
The resulting works are shown in an exhibition entitled Kaguya Kono Mayu Koishimaru at the Sōgetsu Kaikan in Tokyo, for which he received the Nikkei MJ Award.
2003 Received Japan Culture Design Award.
Launched obi woven from natural golden Maharaja silk. Started designing costumes for the avant-garde dancer Tanaka Min
2006 Exhibition entitled Kasane - Abstraction in Ink and Colour in collaboration with fashion designer Koshino Hiroko and architect Kuma Kengo
2008 Collaborated with United Arrows to create men’s kimono in the spirit of the Momoyama period (1573-1615) for presentation at the Tokyo Collection as Kabuku Monotachi no Keifu (A Lineage of Dandies)
2009 Designed costumes for Tanaka Min for the film Hokaibito including ‘funzōe for the Heisei period’
2012 Appeared on television in the NHK BS program Takeshi Art Beat: A Man who Instils his Soul into Obi-Making. Chosen as an image character for the Toyota Motor Corporation
2014 Created obi inspired by the works of the painter Matsui Fuyuko. Exhibited at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo (March) and Kondaya Genbey’s headquarters in Kyoto (April).