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Boro (English version)


Boro, in Japanese means "rags"; it is the term used to describe in particular clothes made with recycled fabrics, in indigo color tones. At the time, recovery was not in fashion, it was just a necessity in order to protect yourself from the cold and to get dressed. It was in the 18th and 19th centuries, in the North East of Japan, in the towns of Aomori and Akita that the poor population of this region (fishermen and farmers), during the Meiji period, recovered damaged textiles, patched to give them a new life or create other clothes. Small pieces of fabric are attached at small points, at the point of recovery (in the same style as the sashiko). Thanks to this technique, new effects came to life to become bedspreads, futons, clothes, ... Each boro tells a story because often patched, it was the witness of daily life, work, parties, laughter and tears that have punctuated this agrarian society. During the winter, to repair futons and farm clothing, Japanese women used pieces of fabric and covered worn or perforated parts, thus extending the life of their clothes.

Originating from the south of Japan, indigo allowed to dye in black and blue. However, indigo was a precious and expensive commodity which explains why in certain regions, plants were used to dye (today, we still use vegetable dyes). At that time also, cotton was precious because it did not come from this region. The Japanese wore hemp clothing and to provide warmth, as protection against the cold, they superimposed the layers of fabric. When you see them, you immediately find links with Western movements and artists. The Abstract Expressionists share with the Boros the concept of spontaneous abstraction, including the works of Rauschenberg and his collection of "debris", or those of Motherwell and his long love story with collages. There are also works of Informal Art and its most famous representative Alberto Burri who directly sticks on his canvases scraps of torn and damaged fabrics, as well as pieces of old packaging canvases. The surfaces on which these artists paint are first scraped, rubbed, superimposed and even encrusted to such an extent that one would think of seeing the passage of time there. What could be closer to the materialization of time passing than the surface of a rare Boro with its layers superimposed on rags of old indigo tissue.

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