The final Washi Chigiri-e art classes for the spring session will be held on Saturday from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Parks and Recreation Department’s Culture and Arts facility on the makai side of the Hilo Armory at 28 Shipman St. in downtown Hilo.
What is chigiri-e? The Japanese word “chigiri-e” is the combination of two basic words, “chigiri” is the noun form of the verb “chigiru” which means “to tear” and “-e” is an artwork or picture painted through tearing of washi paper. The fineness of the art arises from using exquisite handmade Japanese washi paper. The paper is torn into graduated layers, which produces the lights and darks of the colors. The results are elegant, soft pictures, some simple, some complex.
Lily Nakao, an instructor from Oahu, has been teaching the classes since December 2007. Nakao was born in Hawaii but learned the art of chigiri-e while living in Japan for 40 years working at the International School of the Sacred Heart in Japan and the Hakubi Kyoto Kimono School, which included studying washi chigiri-e art at the Hakubi Chigiri-e Gakuin, the foremost school in this art).
Since returning to Oahu, she has been teaching at the Moiliili Community Center for the past 12 years and does workshops, demonstrations and exhibits her works at many locations throughout the state, including in Hilo at Japanese Culture Day in Hawaii and Kodomo No Matsuri.
She and her students’ artwork were displayed in Mayor Billy Kenoi’s office in 2011.
According to Nakao, “my mission is to share this art form with as many people as possible.”
Classes are held six times a year, sponsored by the Japanese Community Association of Hawaii and Hakubi Chigiri-e Gakuin of Japan. Fall classes will start in September.
Call 961-6848 or 969-6437 for more info or to attend the Saturday class.
Class fee is $10 for JCAH member, $15 for nonmember; art kit is $10 for JCAH member and $12 for nonmember.
The Japanese Community Association is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to perpetuate the Japanese culture in Hawaii. It was formed in 1971.