Skip to Content

A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Boro Textiles: Sustainable Aesthetics


Japan Society / New York / Art

Throughout history, fabric has been one of the most expensive and treasured of luxuries. Still-viable textiles from well-worn clothing were often reused to make a child’s garment. And a richly embroidered gown might be taken apart and repurposed as a curtain or wall hanging. Boro, the Japanese word for “rags” or “tatters,” is also the name for a patchwork textile that peasants pieced together in the 19th and 20th centuries, when cotton was not easily obtained in Japan. Not only does the practice embody the Japanese aesthetic of elegant imperfection, the resulting garments are ravishing creations of matter-of-fact modernism. Fifty archival pieces are on view here, alongside boro-influenced avant-garde designs by Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, and Yohji Yamamoto. —L.J.

Buy tickets here
Japan Society 333 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017
Get Directions »
Start a New Search
Subscribers Only

Start your free trial to access the full Arts Intel Report

Subscribe to Air Mail to access every article
and search our entire Arts Intel Report.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in here.

Quantcast