NUNO: Visionary Japanese Textiles
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The first comprehensive, career-spanning monograph of NUNO, one of Japan’s most innovative and respected textile design studios
Named with a simple word meaning ‘cloth’, NUNO is one of Japan’s most important textile-design companies. Founded in 1984 by the legendary Junichi Arai and the company’s current director, Reiko Sudo, it is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative textile producers. Known for weaving together tradition and cutting-edge technology, NUNO designers are inspired by the past, present and future, integrating unexpected elements, such as paper or feathers or aluminium, with industrial methods, such as spatter-plating and chemical etching. All NUNO textiles – more than 2,500 have been created – are produced in Japan and are usually the handiwork of an individual craftsperson. Each bolt of cloth has a story to tell.
Though their textiles appear regularly in books, textile exhibitions and museum collections, a comprehensive NUNO monograph has not existed - until now. Featuring the most outstanding, influential or experimental fabrics, the book is organized into seven chapters, each based on a theme deriving from the onomatopoeic coupling in Japanese that defines a family of fabrics. For example, ‘Shima Shima’, meaning ‘striped’, presents striped designs ranging from bold and contrasting like zebra to subtly variegated like a tabby cat. Based on interviews, archival research and factory visits, the texts are illustrated with specially commissioned photos and drawings. Interspersed are essays by a wide range of contributors, from writer Haruki Murakami and architect Toyo Ito to curator Anna Jackson.
Bringing all the threads together in a beautifully designed package, NUNO is a document of exceptional beauty and a rare glimpse into the essence of Japanese design.
1. FUWA FUWA: Fuwa Fuwa by Haruki Murakami; Portrait of a Textile: Threadstray
2. SHIWA SHIWA: Shiwa Shiwa by Kenya Hara; Portrait of a Textile: Paper Rolls
3. SHIMA SHIMA: Stripes of All Colours by Brooke Hodge; Portrait of a Textile: Origami Weave
4. KIRA KIRA: Shining Within by Akane Teshigawara; Portrait of a Textile: Amate
5. SUKE SUKE: Three Transparencies by Toyo Ito; Portrait of a Textile: Turkish Wall
6. ZAWA ZAWA: Poems by Arto Lindsay; Portrait of a Textile: Jellyfish
7. BORO BORO: Essay by Anna Jackson; Portrait of a Textile: Colourplate On Colours
Chronology of Textiles
About the Authors:
Reiko Sudo is one of Japan’s most influential contemporary textile designers and managing director of NUNO. In recent years, she has become known as an advocate for textile artisans in Japan, creating designs that are technologically forward without diminishing the value of handicraft. Naomi Pollock is a design writer who lived and worked in Japan for over 30 years. Her most recent publication is Japanese Design Since 1945 (2020), also published by Thames & Hudson.