As part of an upcoming show at Sundaram Tagore Gallery in Chelsea, as well as a series of pieces investigating the traditional Japanese garment known as kimono, Miya Ando has hand-soldered over 4000 sterling silver rings and stainless steel plates to make a ‘Furisode‘ (long sleeve) kimono. Ando says she was inspired by a kimono that her grandmother made for her, which led to the creation of this unusual life-size replica.
Ando, in her mastery of steel – after all, she is a descendant of samurai-era Bizen sword makers – has somehow managed to maintain the beauty of a kimono while deviating so vastly from tradition. Typically, the furisode style, which is reserved primarily for unmarried women, are made from a single bolt of fabric, emphasizing continuity. They are known for being made from bright colors and bold patterns. With over 4000 plates that come together to form the stainless steel and sterling silver kimono, Ando’s piece couldn’t be more different. And yet it possesses the fluidity and gracefulness that defines the ceremonial attire. Fascinating!