Nov 11th 2017

Unison: Folklore of the Kimono—Fear and Fantasy

@ Chicago Artists Coalition

217 N Carpenter St, Chicago, IL 60607

Opening Saturday, November 11th, from 5PM - 6PM

On view through Wednesday, November 22nd

In conjunction with the BOLT Residency exhibition “Unison,” Alan Labb will moderate a conversation between Mayumi Lake and Dr. Ayako Yoshimura to discuss their personal stories regarding the kimono, its symbolic importance, rich cultural history, and its disappearance from contemporary Japan.



Ayako Yoshimura is a folklorist (Ph.D. in folklore, University of Wisconsin–Madison) whose research interests include ethnography, autoethnography, personal experience narratives, vernacular beliefs, the supernatural, material culture (clothing, foodways, arts and crafts, design), and public folklore (cultural exchange, community outreach).
Her dissertation is entitled “An Autoethnography of Kin-aesthetics: Retrieving Family Folklore Through the Wearing of Used Kimonos” (2015), and she offers university lectures and public talks on kimono culture while continuing research that focuses on wearers’ perspectives. Ayako Yoshimura is the Japanese Studies Librarian at the University of Chicago Library.

Alan Labb is currently an Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute. This past summer, Labb served as a Distinguished Professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts, as part of a Global Arts Joint Project. Labb is currently working on a project for the Sister City exchange between Osaka and Chicago, documenting and interviewing tsunami survivors for an exhibition that will mark the seventh anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disasters that occurred in the Tohoku area of Japan.


Mayumi Lake (b. Osaka, Japan) is a Chicago-based artist. Her photography and video work delve into childhood and pubescent dreams, phobia and desires. She employs herself and others as her models, as well as dolls, toys, weapons, vintage clothes, and altered landscape as her props. Mayumi has exhibited nationally and internationally at Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery, Asia Society, Art in General, Artists Space, New York; Midwest Museum of Contemporaty Art, Carmel; Fotograpie Forum International, Frankfurt; Cornelius Pleser Galerie, Munich; Galleria PaciArte, Brescia; FOTOAMERICA, Santiago; Witzenhausen Gallery, Amsterdam; O Gallery, Tokyo. Mayumi received her BFA with a focus in Photography and Filmmaking, and MFA in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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