Hiroshi Awatsuji (1929 – 1995) Japanese Textile Designer

Hiroshi Awatsuji featured image
Hiroshi Awatsuji featured image

Hiroshi Awatsuji (1929- 1995) was a Japanese textile and graphic designer: born in Kyoto. He was considered the first Japanese textile designer to be recognised for contemporary design rather than for traditional art and craft. The main characteristic of his work was oversized motifs.

Education

Studied at the Municipal College of Fine Arts in Kyoto to 1950. Whereas the majority of students at the local art university wanted to study traditional crafts, Awatsuji took the risk of studying design, which was still in its infancy.

Biography

Following graduation, he worked for Kanebo, Japan’s premier textile manufacturer, based in Kyoto, until opening his own business in Tokyo in 1958. Awatsuji was one of the most innovative post-war Japanese printed textile designers. He collaborated from 1964 with Fujie Textiles. It was here he started producing brightly coloured, bold new ranges of interior fabrics.

In his own showroom, he promoted his own designs featuring abstract patterns on thickly texture fabrics that took advantage of his weaving skills.

On Commission in 1971-72, he designed furnishing fabrics for Tokyo Hotels, Ginza and 1982 tapestries for IBM, Japan.

Style

From the mid-1960s, his bold and colourful printed textiles broke with traditional Japanese design. His multi-layered black and white patterns from the late 1980s, which evoked fantastical flowers and imaginative textured landscape, and his painterly abstracts from the 1990s, which were printed or woven in variants of the same intense or delicate tones, were particularly remarkable.

Awatsuji thought that design came from everyday life and made the living space better. He made tableware and then “autonomous surfaces,” which are interior textiles that define the qualities of an architectural space.

Hilltop View of Yushima Tenjin Shrine (Yushima Tenji, Sakaue-chobo) No. 117 From the Series One Hundred Famous views of Edo, Hiroshi Awatsuji, (Japanese, 1929–1995), Woodblock print in colored ink on paper,(Photo by: Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Selection of Works

Sources

A Companion to Textile Culture. (2020). United States: Wiley.

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Jackson, L. (2002). Twentieth-century pattern design : textile & wallpaper pioneers. United Kingdom: Princeton Architectural Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, February 24). Hiroshi Awatsuji. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 05:00, June 1, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hiroshi_Awatsuji&oldid=942366506

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