JAPAN 14th July – 1st September

This Summer we celebrate Japan.  Inspired by our Studio Technician travelling to the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory (Mi-Lab), we have invited artists from across the globe to submit work which employs traditional Japanese printmaking techniques or is inspired by Japanese culture.  27 artists from Japan, UK, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, USA and Australia are exhibiting a fantastic range of art works, exploring a variety of subject matter, imagery and printmaking techniques; including mokulito, gyotaku, mokuhanga, Japanese woodcut, etching, linocut, letterpress and book-works.

Participating artists include: Nana Shiomi, Sumiko Eadon, Sara Lee, Lisa Stubbs, Paul Furneaux, Kate Desforges, Rachel Ramirez, Sumi Perera, Kate MacDonagh, Crona Gallagher, Taro Takizawa, Nobuo Okawa, Dianne Murphy, Fumi Gyobu, Mara Cozzolino, Peter Burgess, Misa Gott, Katherine Anteney, Wuon-Gean Ho, Carol Wilhide Justin, Jane Fulton Suri, Andy Welland, Ian Wrench, Mia O, Eddy Dreadnought.

Alongside the exhibition of prints is a display of Tenugui and Furoshiki textiles, loaned by Dr Anna Seabourne. In addition to the rich and varied exhibition of prints and textiles in our gallery, visitors to the gallery can make their own Origami animal, and we have a programme of artist-led participatory activities and events for a wide range of people, detailed below.


JAPAN: A Summer of Inspiration

Workshops and Events for Children, Young People and Families

Suggested donation for events/workshops £2 per person

To book please call us on 01924 497646. Online booking coming soon.

Japanese Printmaking - Kamihanga

Sat 14 July, 11-3
In Japanese hanga means “print” (or more specifically “han” means print and “ga” means picture), so Kamihanga is a traditional process of making a print from paper and cardboard. With some creative cutting and layering of paper create simple but stunning prints to take away!

Weather Dolls - Teru teru Bōzu

Sun 15 July, 11-2
Make your own Japanese weather doll to bring sunshine and good luck!

Bunraku Puppet-Making Workshop

Sat 28 July, 2-4
For all the family
Work and play together as a family making table top puppets inspired by the Japanese tradition of Bunraku puppetry.  Be inventive and learn to make moving parts with a variety of materials including wire, foam and cardboard. Learn how to manipulate your puppet and work as a team to bring your character to life!

Family Storytelling & Crafts

Tues 7 August, 11-12
Age under 8’s & families
Join artist and children's book illustrator Lisa Stubbs for a reading of 'A Carp for Kimiko' and bring the creatures in the story to life with hands-on craft and printing for little ones.

Japanese Textiles Talk - Anna Seabourne

Wed 8 August, 6.30-7.30

手拭 "tenugui"

Colourful, versatile, utilitarian: the humble Japanese hand towel, or tenugui have been a canvas for designers for generations. Made of a strip of unhemmed cotton and dyed with patterns, pictures or calligraphy, they soften with their varied uses, whether as a washcloth, headband, fashion accessory, advertisement or souvenir. This illustrated talk will introduce tenugui, their features, designs, and place in Japanese culture. The audience will be able to handle a variety of examples from the speakers collection and experiment with some of the ways in which they can be used.

Anna Seabourne BA, MSc, MAODE, PhD, PGCE, FHEA became interested in Japan through her love for martial arts. She lived and worked in the cultural capital Kyoto for 12 years before moving to Mirfield in 2007 where she runs the Shōfukan Dōjō. Completing a doctorate in Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester in 2017, she remains keenly interested in the culture, crafts and aspects of Japanese aesthetics which she encountered on a daily basis living in the textile district of Kyoto.

Haiku poems & print!

Tues 14 August, 2pm - 4pm

Write your own Haiku, a 3 line Japanese poem inspired by work in the exhibition. Experiment with collage, combining text and image to create your own illustrated poem to take away.

Japanese Printed Textiles Workshop

Age 13+
Over 3 sessions, discover the exciting world of Japanese hand-printed textiles. Furoshiki are a type
of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth
used to transport gifts or
other goods.

Session 1: Thurs 9 August, 2-4
Explore print and design through drawing, inspired by Japanese objects and artworks in the exhibition.

Session 2: Thurs 16 August, 2-4
Learn new skills and develop your artwork using photographic screen printing

Session 3: Thurs 23 August, 2-4
Screen print your artwork onto fabric to create your own unique Furoshiki pieces to keep or give as a gift.

Manga T-Shirts Workshop

Tues 28 August, 2-4
Age 13+
Learn to draw Manga characters and transfer your design onto a T-shirt to take away.

Mokuhanga Woodblock Printing

30 August, 2-4
Age 13+
Learn the art of Mokuhanga –na traditional form of Japanese printmaking from wooden blocks. Work with artist Kate Desforges who has just returned from Japan. Carve your own designs into wood and print by hand using water colour paints to create stunning prints to take away.


We would like to thank the Japanese Society and Kirklees One Community for their generous support.

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