The lecture and workshop “Living Color: The Lasting Traditions of Indigo Dyeing” on Oct. 1 and 2 will explore the traditional Japanese practice and its connection to natural dyes in the Philippines.
The second installation of The Japan Foundation Manila’s 2021 lecture-workshop series explores the theme “Itoteki Life,” which is about the concept of intentional living, inspired by the purposeful intent of Japanese artisans.
The care that goes into natural dyeing remains remarkable despite the rise of fast fashion and mass production. On Oct. 1, 5 p.m., dive into the philosophy, process and heritage with Kenta Watanabe of Watanabe’s, a local business in Tokushima prefecture, Japan, which is renowned for its indigo dyeing. Watanabe oversees the indigo process from cultivating the plant to the final touches on the finished piece of clothing, paying close attention to every step of the process.
Joining the conversation are two Filipinos who are also distinguished advocates of artisanship in dyeing and textiles: Beng Camba, who leads the Enterprise Development Program of the Non-Timber Forest Products-Exchange program, and Luis Agaid Jr. of Namarabar, a community in Abra dedicated to reviving natural dyes. Agaid is the son of Luis Agaid Sr., the “Father of Natural Dyes.”
In both Japan and the Philippines, dyeing is interwoven with both cultural heritage and sustainable livelihoods in indigenous communities.
On Oct. 2, at 10 a.m., Yana Ofrasio will give a hands-on demonstration of natural dyeing techniques in a Philippine context. Ofrasio, a designer and visual artist, is known for crafting patterns that lend a Filipino touch to Japanese indigo dyeing techniques.
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