HOSOO Research & Development Project vol.3

Shinichiro Yoshida The existence of white exhibition

5 November 2021–20 March 2022

In considering textiles as a medium and examining the history and future of fabrics, Hosoo Gallery continues to hold various exhibitions around the central theme of “What is beauty?” through textiles. In 2020, Hosoo Studies was also launched to develop research activities in conjunction with literature research with a focus on collecting and archiving historical dyeing and weaving culture related assets, techniques, and oral histories.

Together with Shinichiro Yoshida, an artist, collector, and researcher of natural fabrics, the works of the current exhibition White were finally completed after 40 years of exploration of his own roots and the continuation of his asa-fu (hemp and ramie fabrics) collection.

The word “white” refers to the state of light. From the perspective of light, white is an undifferentiated state in which the spectrum of colors are blended together. In contrast, from the perspective of color, white elemental and is a representative component on its own. In ancient Japan, one of the most common fibers was hemp. In its natural state, when soaked in water and then dried in the sun, “emptiness” as colors are lost under the influence of sunlight.

The White exhibition’s works are all woven in the same plain weave and using the same hemp fibers. However, when placed side by side, with the differing amounts of yarns and degrees of weaving, each textile possesses subtle variations that emerge with a mysterious presence in light and darkness. The central theme of this exhibition is White that will be paired with Black. The aim is to have both black and white textiles viewed together in dark environments in the absence of a world full of meaning and matter. Through this exhibition, we hope that visitors will be able to appreciate the challenges and difficulties with observing objects that Shinichiro Yoshida has experienced during his 40-year asa-fu journey.


Shinichiro Yoshida

Born in Kyoto in 1948. Current director of the Kinsei Asa-fu Research Institute. He began painting in his twenties and moved to West Germany in 1977 where he met the contemporary artist Joseph Beuys. Upon his return to Japan and under the influence of Beuys, he began to study antique art and folklore on his own. Yoshida has published his research on Edo period ramie and hemp fibers and threads. His major museum exhibitions include the Nara-sarshi exhibition at the Nara Prefectural Museum of Folklore, the Takamiya-fu exhibition in Shiga Prefecture’s Aisho Town Museum of History and Culture and Notogawa Museum, and the The Four Great Asa-fu exhibition at the Museum Tokamachi in Niigata Prefecture. In 2012, Yoshida exhibited his research in the Anthropological Study of Fabric and People exhibition at the National Museum of Ethnology. In 2004, he co-authored the book, Natural Fabrics of Japan – supplementary Taiyo volume (published by Heibonsha Publishing). In 2018, Yoshida received the sixth Mizuki Jugodo Award for recognition of his research and collection on asa-fu.