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Exhibition picture Boro

Boro - The Art of Necessity

On view when the museum reopens

Ripped, worn, patched and lovingly mended. Boro textiles tell us about the art of surviving on scarce resources in a harsh place. In northern Japan, the winters are cold and the population has historically been poor. Here, among farmers and fishermen, a distinctive female craft was developed in which nothing went to waste.

Jackets, sweaters, blankets and quilts were repaired, reinforced and reworked for generations. Textiles were made by combining layers upon layers of home-made hemp fabrics, worn-out garments, rags and recycled thread.

For a long time boro was considered a shameful reminder of poorer times in Japan. A century later, everything has changed, and boro objects are now copied by luxury fashion brands and showcased as art in international art galleries. As the first museum in Europe, the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities will be showing a world unique collection of boro objects loaned from the Amuse Museum in Tokyo. The collection has previously been on view in New York, Beijing and Sydney and is now in Stockholm at the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. The museum is currently closed but the exhibition is ready to be presented as soon as the museum can reopen.

The exhibition also features Swedish artists that have been invited to create their own interpretation of boro. Newly produced works by fashion brand Rave Review and poet Burcu Sahin will be on view, as well as music by Miriam Berhan, Nadine Byrne, Tanya Byrne and Marlena Salonen. The Swedish-Japanese artist Takao Momiyama’s contemporary boro objects will also be shown. Among the 100 boro objects, a selection of patched and mended clothes from Swedish museum collections will also be displayed.

Boro - The Art of Necessity opens in 2021 and will be on view until 15 August 2021 at the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm, Sweden. The museum is currently closed due to Covid-19, but the exhibition is ready to be shown as soon as the museum can reopen.