February 4, 2009 (REVISED February 6, 2009) Japanese Tapestry Artist Mitsuko Asakura to Speak at the Library on March 12

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Mari Nakahara (202) 707-2990

On the eve of the March 13 opening of her art exhibition at the American Institute of Architects Headquarters Gallery in Washington, D.C., Japanese tapestry artist Mitsuko Asakura will discuss her work at the Library of Congress.

The event, which is sponsored by the Asian Division and the Asian Division Friends Society, will be held at noon on Thursday, March 12, in the Whittall Pavilion, located on the ground floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.

The lecture, titled “Life in Interweaving Phases: The Art of Mitsuko Asakura,” is free and open to the public but reservations are required by March 6. Contact Mari Nakahara, mnak@loc.gov, (202) 707-2990.

Asakura will be introduced by Japanese Ambassador to the United States Ichiro Fujisaki. Rebecca Stevens, consulting curator at The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., will present a commentary on the artist’s work.

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Asakura studied in the Netherlands and Italy as a fellow of Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs. As an artisan in the textile arts of Japan, Asakura moved beyond the craft of dyeing to the art of tapestry weaving. She articulated her artistic vision in her book, “Listening to the Thread” (1994): “The structure of weaving is comparable to that of pointillism in painting. Colors never really mix together in textile, they keep their distinct colors and fresh transparency under light.”

Asakura’s work can be found on display and in the collections of art museums and institutions around the world. She has received Merit Awards at the Kyoto Prefectural Arts and Crafts Exhibition, the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, the Japan Modern Arts and Craft Exhibition and the Kyoto Fine Arts Exhibition.

Asakura’s exhibition, titled “Tapestry in Architecture: Creating Human Spaces,” will be on view at the American Institute of Architects from March 13 to June 5, 2009. The exhibition coincides with the 30th anniversary of the National Association of Japan-America Societies and the 2009 National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its Web site at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at myLOC.gov.

The Library is the central repository for all types of Asian publications that are not broadly available at other locations in the United States. Initiated in 1869 with a gift of 10 works in 934 volumes offered to the United States by the Emperor of China, the Library’s Asian collection of more than 2 million items is the largest and most comprehensive outside of Asia.


PR 09-024
ISSN 0731-3527