Making NUNO – Japanese Textile Innovation from Sudō Reiko
Textile Museum St. Gallen, St. Gallen
March 11 – September 18, 2022
For more than 30 years, the Japanese textile designer Sudō Reiko and the team at her NUNO studio have been designing fabrics of unique beauty that have found worldwide acclaim. The exhibition “Making NUNO – Japanese Textile Innovation from Sudō Reiko“, which can be seen at the Textile Museum St. Gallen from 11 March to 18 September 2022 inclusive, sheds light on the designer’s work, her philosophy, and the elaborate process of creation, which would be inconceivable without the expertise of local textile craftsmen and women.
The Japanese Sudō Reiko is one of the few textile designers who has been able to make a name for herself internationally. This is due equally to the exceptional aesthetic qualities of her work and her innovative approach, which breaks the boundaries of conventional textile production and paves the way for new methods of sustainable manufacturing.
Sudō Reiko, who studied industrial design and has been the design director of the textile company NUNO for more than thirty years, combines Japanese craftsmanship with new technologies and unusual materials in her work. She combines raw materials as diverse as waste products from silk production, handmade paper, nylon tape, or thermoplastic. She pays special attention to the sustainability of materials and processes as well as to regional value creation and the promotion of Japan’s highly developed textile culture.
The solo exhibition of Sudō Reiko’s work features five large-scale installations by the artist Saitō Seiichi, which demonstrate the complex manufacturing process of textiles. Accompanying the exhibition are drawings, sketches, raw materials, and design prototypes that illustrate the design process. Short documentary films provide insights into the everyday work of the textile craftsmen and women who have had a creative relationship with Sudō Reiko for many years and are significantly involved in the production of the fabrics she designs.
An examination of the Japanese textile designer‘s work reveals that innovation and creativity can drive the sustainability of global textile production. Designs by Sudō Reiko can be found in international museums such as the MoMA in New York and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
With the presentation of the exhibition “Making NUNO – Japanese Textile Innovation from Sudō Reiko“, the Textile Museum St. Gallen is continuing a tradition that points to the global dimensions of textiles: More than 150 years ago, Japan and Switzerland began a cultural and knowledge exchange that was fruitful for both sides. The Japanese designer Sudō Reiko, for example, quite naturally uses Aetz embroidery, a textile technique developed in eastern Switzerland at the end of the 19th century.
Around the same time, the so-called Japan fever was rampant throughout Europe and influenced both the liberal and applied arts. Different aspects of East Asian aesthetics also inspired Swiss textile designers of the 20th century, and Japanese design is still held in the highest esteem in this country today. With the presentation of the exhibition “Making NUNO – Japanese Textile Innovation from Sudō Reiko“, the Textile Museum expresses this appreciation. The show was conceived by CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Art and Textile), Hong Kong in cooperation with Japan House London.