Touch it. Hear it.
See, smell, and taste it...
It’s the world as you know it, and it feels good to express that perspective.
How would you do it?
Would you draw a picture? Or spell it out in words?
You could even express your world through textiles.
For example, this small fabric; it’s filled with the comfort of Mother Nature.
Tatsuyasu Watanabe, the third-generation head of Watanabe Textile, majored in architecture at university. After graduating, he worked at an architectural firm for two years, but eventually returned to his hometown and took over Watanabe Textile. There he continues the family business of weaving suit linings. He also had an interest in photography, and so while working in Watanabe Textile, he pursued all three-- he continued to build and photograph while working on textiles, not realizing they would all connect somehow.
The first major milestone he achieved was in photography when he received an offer for a photography job from the editor of his favorite French fashion magazine, PURPLE. He’d achieved his photography dreams, so what was next? He wanted to focus on something outside of work, something he could enjoy, where he could extend his own creativity freely. As he pondered this, he noticed the loom sitting in front of him. He’d only woven smooth and silky suit linings before, but what if he could make something with a more defined texture using the same loom? Having found a new challenge, he went straight to work. He realized that creating a fabric with a new texture in this way is similar to the expression of photographs and architecture.
There’s a connection between textiles and photographs. Of course, it can be as simple as “making clothes from original fabrics and taking a picture of the product,” but it can also be so much more. Color, texture, comfort, design. Tatsuyasu uses textiles to express the same feelings that he captures in photography by finding new ideas for fabric that give him a flash of inspiration. For example, the feeling when you put yourself in nature-- not something superficial like noticing a leaf, but really immersing yourself. Tatsuyasu will sometimes drive to the mountains and set up a tent by himself so he can truly feel the embrace of nature; the stillness and relaxation. What you feel with your five senses can be expressed in texture. Tatsuyasu says that the commonality between photography and textiles is that they communicate faster than words.
How do you create a fully sensory work that also appeals to human emotions? Textiles, photographs, and architecture can all do that in different ways. For architecture, it can be the cold feel of concrete, or the window arrangement and proportions. Architecture, photography, and textiles are seamlessly connected in this way. Another point they share is that they’re not something you "try to make", but something you “want to make". The feelings of inspiration and spontaneity that arise from a personal project are special, and can’t be replicated by weaving wholesale.
Tatsuyasu envisioned a place where customers could relax and used his background in architecture to make it a reality. He placed items like photo books on a desk and deer horns on the wall. Each item creates a new point of contact with visitors. Tatsuyasu says that creating a product or work by himself and connecting directly with the end-user is similar to how he would express himself through a photograph.
We hope you can experience such a space by visiting on the third Saturday of the month. The texture, color, and light cannot be conveyed by words alone and must be felt in this place.