Japanese printing master heads to Duncan for workshop

Fabric artists are getting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, courtesy of the Cowichan Valley Arts Council.  

The group is bringing Tetsuo Koyama, a master of the ancient art of Japanese yuzen fabric dying and woodblock printing, to instruct a five-day interactive workshop and visual arts show entitled “Meeting the Master” from Nov. 22-26 in Duncan.  

“This is a wonderful opportunity, particularly for the community’s fabric artists,” Judy Brayden, CVAC board member in charge of the event, said last week.  

“One of our most important missions at CVAC is to encourage and foster art education and development in the community at large.  

“Master Koyama’s visit is a rare opportunity to learn about an art form that is such an integral part of a country’s culture and history. We are incredibly fortunate that Master Koyama has agreed to make this long trip to share his knowledge and expertise.”  

Organizers anticipate that the 18 spaces for the workshop will fill quickly.  

Early bird registration takes place Jan. 15 to March 1. For more information contact Judy Brayden at cvartscouncil@shaw.ca or visit www.cowichanvalleyartscouncil.ca or call or 250-746-1633.

It will be a special time for acclaimed local fabric artist Gloria Daly as well as she is hosting the event.

Koyama, an important art educator in Japan, has studied the specialized art from notable experts, including his father.  

This centuries-old art form involves special dyes, wood block printing and rice glue resist. The method was traditionally used to decorate kimonos.  

This will be the first time the 81-year-old artist-educator has visited North America.

As part of the workshop, participants will design and decorate a piece of cloth using authentic woodblock and traditional dye techniques.   

Koyama will be assisted by Yuko Yamamoto, an internationally known fabric artist in her own right, who studied with Koyama. She recently moved to the Cowichan Valley, joined CVAC and has been tireless in her efforts to bring her former mentor to the area, Brayden said.

In addition to the “Meeting the Master” workshop, there will be a show of three of Koyama’s kimonos at CVAC’s Portals gallery.