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Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Lebanese–American artist and writer. Daughter of a Greek Christian mother and a Syrian Muslim father, she was educated in Lebanon and at universities in France and the United States. For many years she taught the philosophy of art at Dominican College, San Rafael, CA. She also lectured and taught at many other colleges and universities until her retirement in the late 1970s. Also a novelist and poet, she combined Arabic calligraphy with modern language in her drawings, paintings, ceramics and tapestries. She explored the relationship between word and image in over 200 “artist books,” in which she transcribed in her own hand Arabic poetry from a variety of sources....

Article

Ainu  

Hans Dieter Ölschleger

Peoples who once lived in northern Japan and are now restricted to the islands of Hokkaido (Japan), southern Sakhalin and the Kuril chain. The Ainu live in an area that has been influenced by Chinese, Siberian and especially Japanese culture. Until the 17th century, when the Ainu began to practise small-scale agriculture in south-western Hokkaido, they subsisted by fishing and hunter–gathering. Although the gradual Japanese colonization of Hokkaido had almost eradicated Ainu culture by the early 20th century, the post-war period has witnessed a revival of Ainu culture and language....

Article

Gordon Campbell

Hindi term for ‘tie and dye’, a mode of dyeing in which knots are tied in the fabric to prevent knotted parts from absorbing the dye. The term was imported into Europe (with the spelling bandana or bandanna) to denote a richly coloured silk handkerchief, with spots left white or yellow by the process described above; the term is now applied to cotton handkerchiefs and headscarves....

Article

Gordon Campbell

Unwoven cloth made from the bast (inner bark) of a tree. It is also known as ‘tapa’, with reference to the Polynesian bark cloth made from the bark of the paper mulberry and used for clothing. There is a huge collection of Polynesian bark cloth in the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu. In sub-Saharan Africa bark cloth was traditionally decorated with free-hand painting applied with grass brushes, and was used for room-dividers and screens as well as clothing. Its widest application was in Japan, where bark cloth was used for windows, screens, kites, flags and umbrellas....

Article

Batik  

Susi Dunsmore

Resist dyeing technique. Patterns are created on cloth (usually undyed cotton or silk) by painting, printing or stencilling designs in wax, rice or cassava paste, mud or some other dye-resistant substance on to those areas intended to retain their original colour after dyeing. Further patterns and colours can be introduced by altering or adding to the resist areas before redyeing. Finally, the resist media are removed by rubbing or washing. Delicate lines within the patterns, where the resist substance has cracked and allowed the dye to seep in, are characteristic of the technique....

Article

Chinese, 20th century, male.

Active in Malaysia.

Born 1914, in Amoy.

Painter, batik designer. Genre scenes.

Modern School.

Cai Tianding (Chhuah Thean Teng) is regarded by the Malaysians as their most important national artist. He studied at Xiamen Art Academy and moved to Penang in ...

Article

Calico  

Gordon Campbell

In early use, a generic name for cotton cloth from India, which was imported from Calicut (now Kozhikode), on the Malabar Coast of Kerala. The term subsequently came to denote similar European cloths. In late 19th-century England it was applied to any white unprinted cotton cloth, though in the USA and Scotland such cloths were called ‘cotton’. In modern American English it now denotes a coarse printed cotton cloth....

Article

Sarah Scaturro

British fashion designer born in Turkish Cyprus. Chalayan won the British Fashion Award for Designer of the Year in 1999 and 2000. He is best known for his cerebral designs that reference architecture, geopolitics and technology, as well as exploring the theme of transformation.

Chalayan was educated in Cyprus before moving to London to attend Central St Martins College of Art and Design, where he graduated with honours in ...

Article

Dhurrie  

Gordon Campbell

Cotton flatweave carpet made in India; see also Indian subcontinent, §VIII, 4, (iii), §VIII, 4(iii).

N. Chaldecott: Dhurries: History, Pattern, Technique, Identification (New York, 2003)

Article

Milo Cleveland Beach

American dealer of Indian birth. Following the decline of the family textile business, his father, Munchersa Heeramaneck, became an antiquities dealer and shrewdly developed a speciality in Chinese ceramics. As a youth, Nasli was assigned to the New Delhi office, but in 1922 he was sent to Paris to study and open a branch. He soon moved to New York, which became the final location for ...

Article

Phylis Floyd

French term used to describe a range of European borrowings from Japanese art. It was coined in 1872 by the French critic, collector and printmaker Philippe Burty ‘to designate a new field of study—artistic, historic and ethnographic’, encompassing decorative objects with Japanese designs (similar to 18th-century ...

Article

Pamela Roskin

Japanese fashion designer. Rei Kawakubo, the fashion designer and creator of Comme des Garçons (Like Some Boys), is best known for her often oversized, asymmetrical, monochromatic and deliberately imperfect clothing (see fig.).

Born during World War II, Kawakubo was the oldest of three children. She described her childhood years as comfortable and normal even though her parents divorced, which was unusual in post-war Japan. Her father was an administrator at Keio University, a prestigious college in Tokyo, and her mother taught English at a local high school. In ...

Article

Joan Kee

Korean mixed-media artist, active also in the USA. Kim studied painting at Hongik University, Seoul, graduating in 1984. That same year she received a scholarship to study art at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. During the mid-1980s Kim became interested in employing commonly used Korean textiles in her work. Distinctively patterned and coloured, the textiles offered different formal possibilities, and early works featured various swathes cut and sewn together to form large, continuous surfaces. In ...

Article

Kincob  

Gordon Campbell

Rich Indian fabric, embroidered with gold or silver.

Article

Esin Atil

Ottoman illuminator. The greatest student of Şahkulu, Kara Memi developed a new naturalistic style that quickly spread to other court arts including textiles, rugs, ceramics and tiles and survived for many centuries. He is one of the few artists employed in the imperial Ottoman painting studio under Süleyman (...

Article

Mai Vu

Japanese fashion designer, active in Tokyo and Paris (see fig.). For his Autumn/Winter 1998 collection, Issey Miyake sent all his models down the Paris catwalk in a single stream of red, knitted tubing. Unlike the typical fashion show where the season’s look is unveiled in its finalized form, Miyake’s show was a presentation of his process. In collaboration with designer Dai Fujiwara, Miyake developed a radical approach to fashion design. Utilizing technological advances in fibre, fabric and computer science, he created a system to manufacture individual garments from a single thread. The method, known as A-POC, an acronym for ‘A Piece of Cloth’, is Miyake’s solution to the complicated manufacturing methods of traditional cut-and-sew garments....

Article

Arlette P. Kouwenhoven

Japanese printmaker and textile dyer. He graduated from the Kawabata School of Fine Arts in 1923 and later studied under Muneyoshi Yanagi and the textile dyer Keisuke Serizawa. After working on dyed textiles for 30 years, Yoshitoshi gradually shifted to the creation of stencil prints in the late 1950s. He developed a new and distinctive style that combined stencil printing (...

Article

Ottoman  

In furniture, an ottoman is a low upholstered seat without a back or arms, typically serving also as a box, with the seat hinged to form a lid; it was also called a Turkey sofa. The French term ottomane (or sultane or turquoise) denoted an oval sofa in which one end was raised. In textiles, ottoman was a heavy ribbed fabric made from silk and either cotton or wool....

Article

Gordon Campbell

Type of richly patterned cotton cloth, originally imported from India and used in Europe for bedspreads and shawls.

U. Wiesner: ‘Chintz: Dyed Cottons from India’, Oriental A., 41 (Spring 1995), pp. 52–3 J. Greco: ‘Fragile Beauty’, Art and Antiques, 27/2 (Feb 2004), pp. 40–41

Article

Iraqi architect, painter and designer. The grandson of the Iraqi prime minister Nuri el-Said (d 1958), he studied architecture in England at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1958–61), and attended Hammersmith College of Art and Design, London (1962–4). From the early 1960s he incorporated sentences and words in kufic and other scripts into his paintings. He designed the interior of the Central Mosque and the Islamic Cultural Centre in London (...