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Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Kimono exhibit varies between traditional, modern

The Harn Museum of Art will be hosting an international loan exhibition featuring the kimono, Japan's national costume.

"Fashioning Kimono: Art Deco and Modernism in Japan" will run free of charge to the public starting Sunday through May 17.

The exhibit features 97 kimono from the 1890s to the 1940s and 49 photographs.

The kimono, which are on loan from the Montgomery Collection of Lugano, Switzerland, are free-standing throughout the room categorized by season, gender and style, said Jason Steuber, Cofrin curator of Asian Art at the museum.

Steuber said he designed the exhibit to resemble how the kimono are worn, instead of just hanging them on a wall.

Because the kimono was the attire of choice for men, women and children in Japan from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, the kimono range from causal everyday wear to formal wedding wear.

Some garments mimic traditional Japanese history and famous Japanese literature, while there are some with a modern feel, he said.

One kimono in the exhibit, made for a young boy, is decorated with army images of guns and planes reflecting the World Wars.

"The shape of the kimono never changes," Steuber said. "But the design and textural detail absorb what is happening in contemporary society."

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