Junichi Arai was born in Kiryu, the center of traditional Japanese silk weaving, and was trained in his family’s mill. He went on to become one of the most innovative textile artists of our time. Over the past fifty years he has won dozens of patents for his work in fiber chemistry, metallic fibers and finishes, and other surface treatments, including a unique melt-off process for creating metallic textiles.
Arai is often called a textile engineer, and Nuno me Gara, woven in 1981, shows he was also an early adopter of computer-aided loom technologies. Using just two colors, red and black, in a double-cloth construction, he creates an image that is both illusionistic and abstract. The image of a pile of narrow fabric strips follows in a long tradition of using photographic imagery to showcase the loom’s capabilities, but Arai focuses equally on the sensuous tactility of the subject.
Nuno me Gara will be on view in the exhibition Making Design beginning December 12, 2014.