Place and Making: Cross-Cultural Craft

From Japanese clay to Indian textiles, craft traditions from around the world are celebrated in this year’s Sydney Craft Week. Read on for more information about exhibitions, workshops and events that celebrate the diversity of craft cultures.

Reflections of Asia: Collectors and Collections at MAAS showcases how Australians have perceived the idea of Asia through collecting items and souvenirs, and how Asian cultures, art and technologies have inspired Western artists and makers.

Japanese craft meets LuMi hosted by Simply Native is an exclusive dinner event featuring hand-crafted tableware from Japanese artisans. Guests can enjoy a unique cocktail-style dinner, specially created by LuMi and inspired by Japanese tableware, and experience a live demonstration by up-and-coming ceramist from Japan, Mr Masahiro Wadayama. Japanese handcrafts will be on display and available for purchase throughout the evening, with proceeds going towards supporting the artisans and their life-long dedication.

Workshop Kintsugi for Modern Life will explore and discuss the traditional art of Japanese Kintsugi and bring a modern spin to the ancient repair technique. The philosophy of kintsugi sees a broken piece of ceramics brought back to life with a new level of beauty, both aesthetically and through the trauma it has experienced.

Explore Japanese ceramic techniques and methods that you can mimic at home or in your studio by joining Japanese Clay Techniques with Mukumono. This hands-on workshop is held by Lon Fukazawa, the maker behind Mukumono Ceramics. He is a Sydney based designer who grew up in both Sydney and Tokyo.

Enjoy the ancient art of Shibori, a Japanese resist dyeing technique used to create beautiful patterns at Indigo Shibori Dyeing with Inside Jo.B and discuss how you can use objects and pieces from your home and garden to create unique patterns.

Gain a better understanding of the respect for natural materials and the commitment to an enduring, living Japanese aesthetic by joining The Intuitive Thread presented by The Japan Foundation, Sydney. It introduces four textile artists from across Japan re-interpreting traditional methods and exploring new forms of expression. These artists remain grounded in slow, disciplined age-old processes, while at the same time challenging convention.

Bring your child to Kids Japanese Mosaic Tile Art and have a class about Japanese philosophy of “mottainai” which means “don’t waste”. Learn how to give a new life to what could just be thrown away and have fun together turning recycled objects into something beautiful and useful.

Get an unique experience of learning hand-weaving by an artisan weaver with 40 years’ experience from Japan! Sakiori – Sustainable Japanese Hand-Weaving is a beginners workshop to introduce “Sakiori”, a Japanese weaving style from Edo period. Each participants use Rigid Heddle Loom to create one place-mat size Christmas wall art using natural fibre and recycled vintage Japanese Kimono fabric.

Feast your eyes on Korean craft and design! Spanning relics, artifacts and handicrafts, Feast of K-Chopsticks: Korean Craft & Design hosted by Korean Cultural Centre Australia showcases a wide variety of artistic chopsticks related to local craftsmanship in Korea. This exhibition is made possible with the support of Cheongju City, South Korea.

Hypersensitive/ Hipersensitif by Soraya Artis is an exhibition of textile works by Soraya Abidin. The artworks on show are in quest of a resolution to the outwardly puzzling task of defining a bicultural identity. The cross cultural collection of textiles used to create the works tap into the consciousness of a bicultural girl growing up in Australia in the 1970s. Through a language of inherent craft, a two-way dialogue is created, the divide is crossed over and works embrace the notion of one collective culture.

Embroidered Relations: from India to UTS shows a collection of embroidered works made in collaboration with embroidery artisans from India. The works on display, although diverse in content, speak to the strong cross-cultural relationship between the UTS Fashion and Textiles program and Master embroiderers from India.

Liz Williamson: Open Studio / Studio Sale shows Liz Williamson’s design woven by skilled artisans in West Bengal, India and other pieces collected on her regular visits to India. Visit Liz’s studio for insights into her practice; discussions about weaving, plant dyeing, textiles and weaving; and an opportunity to purchase handmade textiles. 

Traditional Afghani Textiles is an exhibition of work made by the women of the Afghani Mothers Group at Guildford Library. The centrepiece will be a tabletop display of a felted traditional Afghani home with handmade furnishings and everyday objects, including people in traditional dress and animals.


Images: Naomi Taplin, Kintsugi Plate, Event: Kintsugi for Modern Life; Fatemah T, Embroidery, September 2017, India Betar, Event: Traditional Afghani Textiles