An Exquisite Fragment of Narumi Kongata: Many Motifs
ca. late nineteenth century
20" x 13 1/4", 51 cm x 33.5 cm
This fragment is an exceptional example of Narumi kongata, a kind of multi-stenciled resist dye that is meant to mimic shibori and is often very complex in image and technique.
The cotton piece shown here is fantastic in its execution and its imagery. First, it is the same on both sides, just as clear and bright on the back as it is on the front: fine whites, rich indigo blues.
Its images are wonderful to consider: the background is a lattice pattern that is interrupted by mist. In the mist and on the lattice we see small rain dragons. Arranged in free symmetry are decorative gourds and leaf forms which are are packed with design motives some showing a tortoise shell motif, and others very densely and expertly rendered in faux shibori.
A wonderful example of Narumi kongata.