Starting from Tuesday 7 September, the MAO Museo d'Arte Orientale proposes a new rotation of kesa and screens in the gallery of Japan, a replacement that is necessary to allow the fibers of the fabrics to relax after the stress to which they are subjected during the period of exposure. to the public and the most delicate artifacts not to be overexposed to light.
The kesa, precious ritual cloaks worn by monks and composed of vertical bands of fabric joined by overlapping seams, are an essential element in Buddhist practice: giving a fabric gives merit to the offerer and its packaging is intended as an act of devotion to the monk.
The new rotation provides for the display of three cloaks of different make, age and iconography.
The first is a floral motif kesa, with dragons and multicolored phoenixes from the first half of the 19th century. On the ocher background of the cloak, peony and plum blossoms alternate with dragons wrapped in a ring among clouds and auspicious symbols, while the phoenixes in flight take up the rotating dynamism of dragons thanks to their long feathered tails that surround their body.
The second fabric, which dates back to the 18th century, is embellished with minute floral motifs: it is a precious and light brown fabric, rather sober despite the extensive use of metallic yarns.
The third kesa on display, dating back to the 19th century, presents a motif of dragons lined up and wrapped around themselves to form many rings surmounted by plant shoots with peonies in bloom, elements with a profound auspicious meaning, further embellished with sparse mulberry leaves embroidered in gold . For size and workmanship, we can hypothesize that this cloak was made from an uchikake, a women's wedding kimono.
At the same time as the kesa, three small screens with two doors will also be set up.