Japanese Gutai Artists Visit Cedar Crest to Make Paper Fashions with Students
A group of 25 artists from Osaka, Japan, have descended on Allentown, and they will be making a special appearance at Cedar Crest College on Thursday, Feb. 21, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The artists are in the area as part of a three-week residency titled, “Lollipop, Gutai Influences,” through Fuse Art Infrastructure of Allentown.
The artists, disciples of the famed Gutai school of art founded by Jiro Yoshihara and Shozo Shimamoto in mid-1950s Japan, will make recycled clothing from newspaper including suits, dresses and hats in the basement of Hartzell Hall during most of their time at Cedar Crest. Gutai means “embodiment,” and explores the beauty that arises when things become damaged or decayed. The process of damage is celebrated as a way of revealing the inner “life” of a given material or object.
“When Kiki (Nienaber) from Fuse Art Infrastructure approached me about the Lollipop-Gutai show I saw it as a unique opportunity to broaden the scope of how art is seen on our campus and as part of our community; that art can be a part of our everyday lives in a meaningful way,” said Brian Wiggins, art gallery coordinator. “The artist, Miyuki Nishizawa, uses as her art material regular daily newspapers she then fashions into articles of clothing. By ‘wearing the news and images,’ the content of the paper is then transformed in such a way that the negative aspects we contend with daily can be viewed as something to transcend.”
The artists will arrive at Cedar Crest at 10 a.m. to prepare their materials, and will spend most of the day in classes working with art students. From 2:45-3:30 p.m., the artists and students will parade through the campus–including the Tompkins College Center, Alumnae Hall, and more–in their recently crafted paper fashions.
“The students at Cedar Crest will work closely with her and the other artist’s to understand the working method and then create their own fashion statement. "This is a spectacle no one on campus will want to miss," said Wiggins.