In 1916 Keisuke Serizawa Textile Designer, graduated from the design division of the Tokyo Technical College. Inspired by the bingata (multicoloured, stencil-dyed) textiles of Okinawa, from 1928 he began to research them and, subsequently, the traditional textiles of other regions.
His individualistic style of katazome (stencil dyeing) was the result of his involvement in the entire process, from design, stencil cutting and application to dyeing.
He was deeply impressed by the writings on crafts by Muneyoshi Yanagi and contributed works to the MINGEI (‘folk art’) movement.
In 1931 he executed a stencil-dyed cloth design for the bound cover of the first issue of the movement’s monthly publication Kogei (‘Crafts’), of which he was editor for a year.
His folk art includes kimono, paper prints, wall scrolls, folding screens, curtains, fans and calendars. Serizawa has also produced numerous masterpieces in illustrated books including Don Quixote, Vincent van Gogh and A Day at Mashiko.
The distinguishing trait of Serizawa’s katazome method is the use of the starch mixture to create, not a colored area as is current in direct-dyeing process, but a blank, undyed one that forms a part of the pattern and that can later be colored by hand in multi-color or monochrome as the designer sees fit.
Serizawa was designated as a Living National Treasure.