Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We were fortunate to view an exhibition of the artist Tomono Tadakuma Wynn at the Migration museum recently.In the 1970s Tomono Tadakuma left her traditional, patriarchal Japanese family and came  to Adelaide to study print-making and painting.This was not an easy choice for her to make. Her art and the exhibition encapsulates her   life. The exhibition includes samples of her art, including her beautiful calligraphy but it also has some of her kimonos and some belonging to her mother as well as beautiful dolls her mother makes.

Tomono’s first impression of Australia dated from when she was a child in Tokyo.  She saw an image of a remote desert Aboriginal man lighting a fire.  To Tomono, as she grew up within the strict conventions expected of a young Japanese woman of samurai ancestry, Australia came to symbolise freedom.

Tomono also asked some of her friends to come along and perform the traditional tea ceremony. She challenged us in our busy lives to find something to do, such as making our own cup of tea(western style) and really think about the elements involved in the activity. To slow down and consider the pouring of the water into the jug, the waiting time for it to heat the pouring of the water into the cup over the tea and waiting for it to steep and finally drinking slowly and really focusing on what we are tasting. A useful exercise I think.

The Japanese tea ceremony takes many years to perfect. One of the ladies said she had only been learning for 6 years. Another said that they all had children at home, families to look after and work to do and it may seem strange for us to consider why they would take time out to practice an activity that is not going to achieve anything visible.

But she said "this is for us, pointing to the women doing the ceremony, this is time for us...and we take it back when we go on with our lives"

 Finally Tomono asked for volunteers to be dressed in traditional Japanese dress. My oldest son was chosen because he was the tallest male there but  you can see he was a little too tall for the costume.

The morning was a lot of fun.

I'm not sure how T. felt about having all these people to dress him!

                      Don't they all look wonderful!

Below is a wedding komono. Apparently there are 40 layers of clothing needed to dress for your wedding.As it was the ladies said their own dress for this morning had taken well over an hour to get ready!

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