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Scarf, Reflecting Well

This is a Scarf. It was designed by Junichi Arai. It is dated ca. 2003 and we acquired it in 2004. Its medium is polyester and aluminum and its technique is melt-off and tied-resist (shibori) dyed. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Reflecting Well, by Junichi Arai, continues his life-long investigation into materials and textile techniques and the transformation of two-dimensional cloth into sculptural and vibrant surfaces. In this polyester and aluminum piece, Arai combines a melt-off technique, which dissolves the metallic thread leaving behind a transparent cloth, with shibori, a type of tie-dyeing technique that, in Reflecting Well, ultimately protects the metallic areas when dyeing the cloth. The results are large, circular, metallic puckers that reflect light and create an incredibly animated cloth.
Since 1950, Arai has been working in some aspect of the textile industry, developing new manufacturing processes. In 1984, he and Reiko Sudo co-founded NUNO, a company and retail store that produces and sells innovative functional fabrics. He has taught textile workshops all over the world and his work is included in the collections of major museums. The museum’s holdings of Arai’s work represent a cross-section of his career. This piece is an important addition to our collection of Arai’s work.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Reflecting Well.

It is credited Gift of Masako Dempo Yuki.

  • Sidewall, Tie-Dye
  • hand-dyed and folded japanese paper.
  • Gift of Barbara White.
  • 2000-64-1

Our curators have highlighted 7 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Sidewall, Tie-Dye
  • hand-dyed and folded japanese paper.
  • Gift of Barbara White.
  • 2000-64-2
  • Textile, Kibiso Circle
  • jacquard float weave raw silk and kibiso, hand trimmed.
  • Courtesy of NUNO Corporation, Tsuruoka Fabric Industry Cooperative, and....
  • 89.2015.17

Its dimensions are

H x W: 144.8 × 144.8 cm (57 × 57 in.)

Cite this object as

Scarf, Reflecting Well; Designed by Junichi Arai (Japanese, 1932 - 2017); Japan; polyester and aluminum; H x W: 144.8 × 144.8 cm (57 × 57 in.); Gift of Masako Dempo Yuki; 2004-23-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Scarf, Reflecting Well |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=23 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>