May 5th - July 28th, 2001
Curator: Dr. Ilana Singer
Genmei Takahashi was born in Kyoto in 1942. His father, a painter in the traditional Japanese style, was killed in the Second World War at the age of 28, when Genmei was only two years old. After completing his schooling at the Murasakino School, Takahashi met the American artist Stanton Macdonald Wright, a lecturer at the University of California in Los Angeles. Professor Wright and his late father were the two artists who influenced Genmei's decision to become an artist himself. He began studying art, but his interest in the techniques of dyeing fabrics brought him to the Otsuka School for Textile Design in Tokyo. After completing his studies he worked in a famous textile design studio in Kyoto, and in 1968 he opened his own studio "Espace Gen" for kimono and textile design. He has developed his own design techniques for textile design, and creates exclusive kimonos in the traditional pattern with modern designs. Genmei Takahashi uses the wax technique of applied decoration (roketsu), in which the wax prevents the absorption of colour in the fabric. He applies the coloured motifs with a brush (moyozome) on the unwaxed areas. After the colour has dried and solidified, the wax is removed, either with benzine or by breaking it off. The patterned areas are then covered with wax, and the background is painted in. The wax-resist technique enables painting over areas that have already been coloured.
Genmei Takahashi also continues to paint. He has received various awards, many of them from exhibitions of weaving and dyeing in Japan (1972, 1975-79, 1981, 1984). He is a member of the Designers' Union in Kyoto, of the International Design Committee, and Director of the Arts Section of Seika University in Kyoto, where he is also on the Board of Directors.