- Japanese Aesthetics
- Kakejiku (Hanging Scroll)
- Hyougu (Mounting)
- Japanese-style Painting
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The “kireji” is a type of cloth used for mounting. The price of the kireji influences the price of a “kakejiku” (hanging scroll) or its mounting. The selection of the kireji is an important element for a kakejiku, because the kireji must accentuate a main artwork.
The kireji is woven, so is made up of a warp and weft. The design is formed by changing the thread color in the warp and the weft. The price of the kireji depends on the kind and combination of the threads.
Donsu and Kinran
There are a great many kinds of kireji. Kireji is roughly classified into “donsu” (damask), or “kinran” (gold brocade).
Donsu is known to have been loved by the tea master SEN no Rikyuu. The warp and weft of donsu may be of the same, or different colors. The donsu is thick and glossy, and is a high quality fabric. Various materials are used for donsu, such as silk, cotton, and chemical fibers.
Kinran is a very important fabric used for the parts of a kakejiku, such as “ichimonji” (two brocade borders), a “naka-mawashi” (inner enclosure), and “fuutai” (a pair of decorative fabric strips). Kinran has various beautiful patterns embossed with gold thread. Kinran is roughly classified into low, middle, and high quality kinran (“hon-kinran”).
The kireji makes an main artwork more impressive. There is an important rule in using the kireji for an main artwork: the kireji mustn’t attract more attention than the main artwork, but should accentuate the artwork. It seems a simple rule, but profound. Whether the artwork appears at its best is dependent on the kireji.
It is an unspoken rule that the “kireji” (mounting fabric) mustn’t attract more attention than the artwork, but should accentuate it. So, using expensive kireji does not always go well. The selection of the kireji is very difficult and delicate, so knowledge of art, a sense for choosing materials, and a good sense of color are essential.
No1 (example001) is a good combination. “Suibokuga” (ink painting), the art of painting in just one color using “sumi” (Japanese ink), is not only for painting lines, but also for showing gradation through contrasting ink density, and lighting. In this painting, a tranquil atmosphere is an important element. In this example, the mounting fabrics accentuate the atmosphere.
No2 (example001) is a bad combination. The expensive kinran (gold brocade) is used, but it attracts more attention than the artwork. It spoils the atmosphere.
It is an unspoken rule that the kireji (mounting fabric) should accentuate the artwork.
No1 (example002) is a good combination. This painting of The Thirteen Buddhas “Juusanbutsu” is sacred and gorgeous. The grandeur atmosphere is an important element for this work. In this example, the mounting fabrics accentuate the atmosphere.
No2 (example002) is a bad combination. The soft colored kireji is used, but it doesn’t accentuate the work. Using “safe” kireji does not always go well, either.