Junichi Arai (1932 – 2017) was a Japanese textile designer and producer born in Kiryu, Gunma. Arai is an acknowledged leader in the field of experimental weaving technology, combining traditional and futuristic, often with unexpected qualities. He worked closely with the fashion designer Issey Miyake in the 1980s.
As the sixth generation of a mill-owning family, Arai grew up with fabrics being woven for obis and kimonos. He held traditional weaving methods in high regard and the skills that only the human hand can have in the art of fabric making. Nuno Corporation, a company and retail store that manufactures and sells innovative functional fabrics, was founded in 1984. Arai took a conventional approach to his business, hiring local craftspeople to help him develop his work, even though his work was technically innovative.
Arai specialised in deeply textured, sculptural fabrications using celluloid, aluminium tape, metallic filament, silk, and polyester; shifted to technological experimentation, maximising the potential of punched cards used on jacquard looms by producing them by the computer; created fabrics from yarns with different shrinkage rates and under extreme heat; and lacerated film into complex wefts.
Following that, he worked as an independent designer through his Nuno shop in Tokyo.
Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.
Junichi Arai. Junichi Arai | Biography | People | Collection of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. (n.d.). https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/people/18045617/bio#ch.
More Textile Designers
You may also be interested in
Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), was an American sculptor and designer. He was born in Los Angeles and professionally active in New York. He was influential and well-received in the twentieth century. He produced sculptures, gardens, furniture and lighting designs, ceramics, architecture, and set designs throughout his lifetime of creative experimentation.
Sori Yanagi (1915-2011) was an industrial designer from Japan. Although previously trained as a fine artist and worked in an architectural studio, Yanagi went on to study industrial design in 1947. In 1952, he opened his design studio in Tokyo, the Yanagi Design Institute. He attracted attention with his award-winning Nippon Columbia record player.
Yuri Masaki is a Japanese glass designer she was president of the Masaki Glass and Art Studio. Her work was included in 1987 and 1990 ‘Glass in Japan,’ Tokyo and 1991 (V) Triennale of the Japan Glass Arts Craft Association, Heller Gallery New York. Her work was subject of exhibitions at 1988 Senbikiyia Gallery Tokyo.
Iron kettles are used to boil water for tea preparation in the Japanese Way of Tea. Iron kettle casting with sand moulds has a long tradition in Japan, dating back to the Heian and Kamakura times.