KUBOTA’S KIMONOS. HISTORY ON SILK

Russian Federation (2020), 52 min.

Directed by Radik Kudoyarov

Kubota’s story begins with his time as a prisoner of war in the USSR during WWII. Beautifully produced reenactments capture this difficult yet pivotal period of his life. While locked up in his cell, Kubota saw a vision of the Siberian sunset which would later inspire his lifelong project, ‘The Symphony of Light,’ a series of kimonos that would illustrate the grandeur of the universe.

This fascinating documentary describes the complex and intricate craft of Tsujigahana – a traditional technique of decorating fabric. Since there were no instructions of how to recreate this age-old process, Kubota spent decades experimenting to form his own version of the method called Itchiku Tsujigahana.

His choice of using the kimono as the canvas for his art symbolises a marriage between Japan and the fashion world, paving the way for future collaborations decades on, including Takashi Murakami’s work with Louis Vuitton.