Things passed down beyond 100 years

I attended the preview party of “Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West” at MoMA in New York City last week. I visited the museum, wearing my kimono. It was my third time visit of the preview party at MoMA wearing a kimono. Every time fashionable people gathered at the night museum, but the only one who put on a kimono was I. So, it took a little courage to have a kimono on, but I always felt comfortable sense of tension and went back to my first objective.
I moved from Tokyo to New York City last June because of my husband’s business. Then I opened kimono class at home, but because I didn’t know how New Yorkers can accept kimonos at first, I tried to put on a kimono outside as occasion offers. Furthermore, I have visited preview parties wearing a kimono, whenever I have received invitation cards for preview parties from MoMA.
At the museum I was addressed by many people, especially women. One lady looked at my kimono and said to me “So beautiful!”

When I visited the preview party of Miró last year, the couple from Peru, who worked as media persons, asked me if they could have a photo taken with me. After we took photos, we talked about kimonos. The photo on the left side shows the couple and me with Yuki pongee kimono and Shioze obi in patterns of Anesama Ningyoo dolls. At parties, I always realize high interests in kimonos, and through kimonos, I have an enjoyable time to talk with many people who address me.

After this preview party, I had a dinner at the Italian restaurant just in front of the museum. After the preview party of Van Gogh last September, I had a dinner at the same restaurant, putting on my favorite Bingata kimono. Staffs remembered me and told me that I always wore a beautiful kimono. Staffs asked me something about kimonos. This time, I wore a kimono made in the Taisho period (1912-1926). When I told them that the kimono was made almost 100 years ago, they all were surprised. The photo on the left side shows the kimono I put on this time, which was a komon kimono almost 100 years ago.

The title of the exhibition at MoMA is “Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West”. We can see many photos of landscape and people in the American West, some of which were photographed more than 100 years ago. Beauty has no time barrier, although either kimonos or photos express beauty differently.

I had a pleasant dinner at the Italian restaurant “Il Gattopardo”, which serves us delicious south Italian and Sicilian foods. “Il Gattopardo” means the leopard, which is named after a famous movie ““Il Gattopardo” directed by Luchino Visconti. The movie describes Sicilian impoverished aristocrats with beauty and gorgeousness. It may be passed down throughout the ages.

Hiromi Asai


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