MAKING NUNO Japanese Textile Innovation from Sudō
Exhibition at Japan House London, UK
17.05. – 11.07.2021

MAKING NUNO Japanese Textile Innovation from Sudō<br>Exhibition at Japan House London, UK<br>06.02. – 16.05.2021

Vitrine showing the development and inspirations of Nuno textiles.
Photo courtesy: CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile), Hong Kong

Japan House London presents an exhibition showcasing the innovative work of textile designer Sudō Reiko. This exhibition, with art direction by Saitō Seiichi of Panoramatiks (formerly Rhizomatiks Architecture), shines a spotlight on the Japanese designer pushing the boundaries of textile production and championing new methods of sustainable manufacture. The opening of the exhibition had to be postponed due to Corona crises. It can now be seen from May 17th to July 11th.

Design Director of leading textile design firm NUNO for over 30 years, Sudō trained as a textile and industrial designer, and she designs fabrics that incorporate traditions of Japanese crafts with new engineering techniques and unusual combinations of materials. She works with materials as diverse as silk, hand-made washi (Japanese paper) nylon tape and thermoplastic, and technologies derived from Japanese hand craft traditions such as caustic burning, weaving and dying. Her inspiring designs are currently housed in collections around the world, including in MoMA in New York and in the V&A in London.

The exhibition at Japan House London includes five large-scale installations of Sudō’s work with the manufacturing processes brought to life by Saitō Seiichi’s artistic direction. Using a variety of thought-provoking processes from washidyeing to chemical lace embroidery inspired by rolls of paper, each installation is accompanied by drawings and sketches, alongside raw materials and design prototypes. 

Visitors to the exhibition encounter a series of installations that demonstrates the ways in which Sudō uses innovation and creativity to make steps towards building a more sustainable global textile production industry, with particular focus on the sustainability of materials, regional manufacturing industries and craftsmanship.

Sustainability of Material: 

See how Sudō harnesses unconventional materials such as washi alongside textile techniques such as heating and bonding to create entirely original works.  

Not to be missed, Kibiso Crisscross, a collaborative project with the Tsuruoka Textile Makers Cooperative, takes discarded kibiso, the protective outer layer of silk cocoons and uses a specially developed machine to create yarns from the tough remnants, creating the first step towards realising the ‘no-waste, use everything potential’ not previously seen in the silk industry.   

Sustainability of Regional Manufacturing

Explore the origins of Sudō’s work, following her decades of work with family-run factories across Japan which specialise in different production techniques, collaborating with each to develop new, alternative production methods to push the possibilities of industrial machinery making and help revitalise these regional manufacturing hubs. 

Sustainability of Traditions and Craftsmanship

Discover Sudō’s designs that revive old textile machines and Japanese craftsmanship on the verge of disappearing. Learn how she incorporates intricate craftsmanship into industrial textile production, collaborating with different experts and artisans along the way to help preserve craft heritage through upcycling and reinvention. 

Sudō Reiko, Textile Designer and Design Director of NUNO:

“Japanese textiles are born of a long history, embracing both refined traditions of artistry and unparalleled high-tech materials. Since 1984, Nuno has collaborated with skilled local artisans all over Japan using a wide variety of different fibres and techniques to craft some 3000 different textiles. Among these are the richly textured maku partitions to be displayed in the centre of Japan House London’s ground floor. Much more than a mere ‘curtain’, these textiles afford entry into a visionary realm with a uniquely Japanese essence. Please step inside and be transported into our weaving wonderland.” 

Simon Wright, Director of Programming, Japan House London:

“We are delighted to be able to bring this brand new exhibition adaptation of innovative Japanese textile designer Sudō Reiko’s remarkable work to the UK for the first time. Originally shown in Hong Kong and curated by Takahashi Mizuki, Executive Director and Chief Curator of CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile), this exhibition brings together the immense creative talents of Sudō Reiko and artistic director Saitō Seiichi. At Japan House London, we are adding further depth to the exhibition by examining the themes of sustainability and regionality found within the wide variety of NUNO textile manufacture.”

More information:


Japan House London
101-111 Kensington High Street
UK - London W8 5SA

Sudo Reiko.
Photo courtesy: CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile), Hong Kong


Exhibition view: Sudo Reiko: Making NUNO Textile, 2019.
Photo courtesy: CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile), Hong Kong

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