Shifu Paper Textile Garment Wall Hanging by Artist Linelle Dickenson 2003
I am pleased to offer this beautiful wall hanging/garment made in the traditional chinese shifu method by hand by New Mexico artist Linelle Dickenson (2003). Shifu is cloth woven from paper threads. Shifu includes natural bamboo rod (47″ long) for hanging as well as bamboo nail covers to give it a more traditional look. Beautiful purple outer layer with red inner layer. Excellent pre-owned condition.
Details about Linelle Dickenson’s shifu art:
Shifu was created by weaving cloth from threads of paper sometime in 16th-century Japan as a means for peasants to clothe themselves. Much of the early knowledge was passed down by word of mouth until the early 17th century, when samurai families started to produce shifu as apparel as well as a commodity. This art form died out in the late 19th century. It was resurrected briefly after World War I, only to decline again during World War II. Today, there are only a handful ofshifu artists in Japan, which makes Linelle Dickinson’s work even more remarkable.
Dickinson’s fascination with Asian art began early in her life. Her maternal grandparents went to China as missionaries from 1920 until the Second World War. They raised seven children, including Linelle’s mother Pauline, in Shou Yang, some 250 miles southwest of Peking. Years later, the artifacts they brought back to America – silk garments, tiny shoes for women with bound feet – would fascinate and inspire their granddaughter, conjuring up magical adventures in far away, exotic places, and subtly influencing her aesthetic development.
Dickinson first learned about Shifu in a papermaking class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her instructor, Marilyn Sward, showed her a scrapbook of papers from all over the world, including a sheet of kozo paper and a sample ofkozo paper thread from Japan. Linelle learned that similar paper thread was used to make clothing 500 years ago in Japan. That tiny thread of paper proved pivotal for Dickinson. From that point she focused much of her creative energy to using this unique material to express her artistic visions. She learned to turn paper into thread, and weave the thread into paper cloth on her loom. With this medium, she began to create meticulously conceived and visually stunning sculptural art, gaining acclaims for her artistry and creativity.
Dickinson’s works often contain Oriental design elements that seek to connect with the interesting and at times harrowing paths chosen her maternal grandparents. The current show “Tracing the Lifeline” brings that connection into focus. Was it fate that led her grandparents to the Orient, and was it luck that protected them from harm during the War? With tiny threads of paper, Dickinson seems to have woven these questions into dramatic testaments that intertwine her ancestral paths with her own.
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