memory archive — day 86

Exactly one year ago the National Art Center Tokyo was holding the exhibition こいのぼりなう!— Koinobori Now! which I enjoyed so much that I kept on to the do-it-yourself work the whole family did at the exhibition until now.A huge exhibition space at the gallery was decorated with a stream of about 300 koinobori — fabric carp streamers — designed by the Japanese textile designer Reiko Sudo, founder and creative head of the renowned fabric brand NUNO. It was a relaxing experience to sit below the installation of the many floating fabric shapes and just watch those sway. In a side room you had the opportunity to touch and study each fabric that was used for the installation to get a better idea about the intricate designs. And then you could pick paper swatches and decorate your own koinobori.

Carp streamers are traditionally put up in the lead–up to Children’s Day on May 5th, which is celebrated by families nationwide. Even though we don’t own any streamers as a family, we enjoy the sight of the colourful carp flags hoisted up at schools and public spaces each year. We will certainly miss those when leaving Japan eventually.

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