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Panel, Space Panel No. 5

This is a Panel. It is dated 1993 and we acquired it in 2009. Its medium is cotton, hemp and its technique is indigo-dyed plain weave. It is a part of the Textiles department.

The Japanese textile artist, Hiroyuki Shindo, has always been enraptured by the colors achieved from natural indigo. For Space Panel No. 5, Shindo explains the dyeing process with the Japanese word okkochi, which means “the eastern wind” and when spoken also suggests “to let fall.” The word describes a kind of dyeing technique developed in Arimatsu about 300 years ago during the Edo period. The story of its origin claims that a wind from the east blew just a corner of kimono fabric into a vat of indigo. From this incident, a new kind of shaped dyeing was born that was less methodical than traditional shibori tie-dye resist and more reflective of the patterns found in nature. In Shindo’s okkochi interpretation, he makes a wooden trough about four centimeters deep and scatters small stones and pebbles on the bottom and at the edges. Shindo lays a cloth in the shallow trough and carefully pushes the fabric into the concave shapes in-between the stones. Dye is ladled many times into the depressions of the fabric, and he continuously changes the boundary of the well and the depth of the stones to create gradations of color.
This would be the first work by Shindo in the museum’s collection and is an excellent representation of printed and dyed contemporary Japanese textiles.

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

This object was donated by Sheila Hicks. It is credited Gift of Sheila Hicks and Melvin Bedrick.

Its dimensions are

Warp x Weft: 380 x 143 cm (12 ft. 5 5/8 in. x 56 5/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Panel, Space Panel No. 5; Japan; cotton, hemp; Warp x Weft: 380 x 143 cm (12 ft. 5 5/8 in. x 56 5/16 in.); Gift of Sheila Hicks and Melvin Bedrick; 2009-47-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Panel, Space Panel No. 5 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=7 August 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>