A Delicately Figured Asa Panel: Many Tiny Soft Patches
ca. early twentieth century
63" x 13 3/4", 160 cm x 35 cm
This boro length of extremely finely woven hemp or ramie cloth is pure. cool elegance.
This asagi or sky blue dyed asa cloth shows a large-scale pattern of languidly floating paulownia flowers, the very nature of this visual configuration is cooling and soothing to the eye--and good thing. This beautiful length of cloth was taken from a summer futon cover, and in a Japanese summer, any form of cooling one can get, whether it be actual or psychological, is welcome.
Aside from the gorgeous, pale blue color and the gently swirling design (do you see the influence of Art Nouveau here?), what makes this piece ultra-special is the application of about 17 tiny patches, some as small as a fingernail, none larger than a postage stamp. These little hand stitched nuggets of old cloth overlay visual interest onto an already fine length of hand woven cloth.
Note there are a spray of small holes throughout the piece, a large, 2" or 5 cm one most prominent. There are faint stains and surface abrasion, too.
For a different point of view, have a look at our blog posting which shows this cloth back lit. A beautiful effect.