Nunu-e (Fabric Artist)
Tadakazu Kawakatsu is a Kyoto native who spent the first part of his career learning about fabric. Kyoto is the most prominent traditional kimono making area of Japan and Tadakazu spent years working in the industry. He witnessed the maintenance of tradition as well as adoption of modernity in the designs and colours of kimono fabric. Armed with this knowledge he began creating art out of kimono fabric.
His technique is simple, he choses and draws an image or pattern and overlays it on a thin piece of styrofoam, then with immaculate precision he carves the shapes into the styrofoam. At this point his artistic process begins. He carefully selects coloured and patterned fabrics and pieces them together by tucking the edges into the slits in the styrofoam. The beauty of each piece is determined by the combination of colours, patterns, and textures of the fabrics.
Tadakazu's deep understanding of Japanese traditional designs, colours and sensibilities are evident in his work, but he also has a modern understanding of beauty therefore, he blends the two aesthetics into remarkable creations. His works range from timeless Japanese designs and motifs to abstract geometric designs where the intricate pieces of fabric are elevated from cloth to art.