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Noren Project

 (暖簾) Noren is a traditional Japanese curtain or fabric divider. There are many sizes, cloths, colours, and designs. It is used for dividing between rooms and hanging on walls, in doorways, or in windows. In Japan, a noren is found everywhere at the entrance of many restaurants, shops and public bath for both practical purposes and the decors. I grew up having some Noren divider inside the house. My family always tried not to use AC or heater to save some money , so Noren blocked cold or hot air coming in from other rooms. We often gathered in one tiny room with Noren hanged because of that. I believe naturally dyed noren will bring joy and special connection between people. 

Year: 2022
Miyako Ramen Spot
Denver, Colorado

The owner, Masaki, requested me to create red color linen Noren  for his ramen restaurant. I used iron oxide soil, Bengara mud dye from Japan. Not like iron oxide from other areas of the world, this Bengara create yellow toned red called Akane. We, Japanese use this word, Akene for madder roots. as well as beautiful sunset color of the sky. 


Year: 2021
Ramen Star
Denver, Colorado

I created these indigo dyed linen Noren for Ramen Star for blocking too much sunlight coming through inside as well as for the design, which more people on the street would notice the restaurant. Contrast between rusty metal sign, terra cotta brick  and indigo blue came out so gorgeous. I dipped 5-8 times each with fermented indigo vat as well as fructose sugar vat. 


Year: 2020
Up in the Air
Collaboration work with Amanda Millet Sorsa

In the imagined physical gallery space, the visitor will find a noren curtain at the entrance revealing the works in our show. Long ago, in Japan, as one leaves a restaurant, one would wipe one’s fingers on the noren after a meal. The dirty fingerprinted noren was a symbol of a well-loved restaurant. When exiting our show, visitors are encouraged to dip their fingers in natural dyes and wipe your pigmented fingers on the noren before leaving the premises. 

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