Artist Talk: Interpreting Japanese Fans by Kanji Ishizumi
4 November 2011, London
People usually perceive folding fans to be implements used for the purpose of cooling oneself. Collectors of antique folding fans see them as decorative art. About one hundred years ago in the UK and Europe, most ladies carried a folding fan in their daily life as a decorative ornament. Mr Kanji Ishizumi, a sixth generation Japanese fan maker, will challenge and contradict these concepts of the fan in his presentation. He will explore the history of the folding fan, and explain how fans were actually used in Japan by monks and the aristocracy as communication tools and recording or writing instruments. In his talk, Mr Ishizumi will also discuss when, where and how folding fans were first invented, and the later development of fans as art.
Kanji Ishizumi was born in Kyoto in 1947, and belongs to the sixth generation of the Ishizumi Fan Company, which was established in 1881. He is a frequent lecturer on Japanese fans, and has given lectures at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and the Japan Foundation in London. Mr Ishizumi has also given lectures in New York, Los Angeles and Rome. He was invited as a keynote speaker at the North American Fan Association in California in 2011 and at the Asian Civilization Museum in Singapore.
Related exhibition: Fan with a View, an exhibition of Nana Shiomi’s fans, will be on display at the Oriental Club on 8th November from 10am – 6pm. For more information please click here.