MoDA’s Designated Silver Studio Collection includes four hundred Japanese katagami, traditional resist-printing stencils for textiles. We recognized that these stencils held enormous potential for research that brings together an historical perspective with a practice-based approach. Between autumn 2016 and spring 2018 we completed a major research project on this collection funded by Arts Council England. Our focus was on katagami as a source of inspiration for artists and designers, both historically and today.
“Katagami in Practice: Japanese Stencils in the Art School”
MoDA’s katagami stencils date from the late ninteenth century. They represent one of the largest and most significant public collections of katagami in Britain (others are at the V&A Museum in London, and Leeds University’s ULITA).
The katagami in MoDA’s Silver Studio collection are among our most popular objects. They hold a fascination for students and creative practitioners because of the intricacy of their cutting and the beauty and stylisation of the motifs depicted.
Our four researcher/practitioners helped to expand our understanding of these fascinating objects, and offered ways in which students can engage with them more deeply in the future.
An overview of the Arts Council funded project, including an introduction to our practitioners
This symposium was part of the conclusion to the MoDA’s Arts Council England funded research project, Katagami in Practice: Japanese Stencils in the Art School.
Dr Alice Humphrey took a mathematical approach to analysis of MoDA's katagami stencils
Mamiko Markham used infrared photography to uncover the hidden meanings of MoDA's katagami stencils [video].
What have we found out about the historic background to MoDA's katagami stencils?
Silver Studio katagami helped to forge international links in 2017
Sarah Desmarais uses drawing techniques to get to know the katagami through practical engagement.
Caroline Collinge explains the thinking behind her costumed dance performance [Video].
MA Craft students from Middlesex University tried out traditional Japanese printing techniques