designer Michael Wijesuriya showed his customary flair for elegance
in a fashion show of flamboyant bridals and vivid evening wear at
the Bridgetine Fair last Sunday at the school hall. Athula Devapriya
captured these shots of Wijesuriya's latest collection on the ramp.
Pix by Ishara S. Kodikara
Dolls for any
The pair of dolls male and female are for prayer - prayer
for the happiness of young daughters. A traditional Japanese custom
dating back some 1000 years, the Hina Matsuri or Doll Festival is
celebrated by families with daughters, on March 3 each year.
to this is the Tango or Sekku, the boys' festival that falls on
May 5. On this day, families with sons display splendid figures
of costumed warriors or dolls in miniature armour as they pray that
their sons will grow up strong and healthy. Shapes of prayer, that's
how some Japanese dolls are viewed as they are used in prayer for
been a part of everyday life in Japan since ancient times. Over
the years, they have taken many diverse forms, with distinctive
attributes unique to the region they come from. Today they showcase
traditional Japanese craft products, such as textiles, along with
the culture of the people.
The dolls come
in varied forms and costumes. Kimonos made of silk with elaborate
embroidery, hairstyles and brilliant costumes depict the styles
and fashions of Japanese women. Some display a technique where coloured
cloth is pasted onto a wooden doll (Kimekomi). Especially known
for their beautiful colours are the clay dolls (Hakata dolls) -
the Sumo Wrestler in the Ring being a good example.
elaborate costumes as they dance in the Noh region. It is this traditional
art form of the 15th century that is depicted in the Noh dolls.
Most eye-catching among them are the Oshie Hagoita dolls (Battledores
with raised pictures). They look like elaborate placards with stands,
with dramatic expressions like cruelty, anger or serenity. These
are made with designs cut from thick paper and wrapped in habutae
silk containing cotton.
Palace dolls (Gosho Ningyo) are the sweet children with large heads
and fair skin, while the Ichimatsu dolls realistically depict Japanese
children, some showing them in various activities. Made under the
Japanese wood turnery technique, the Kokeshi dolls are known for
their simplicity and brilliant colours. Round, fat or small, these
engraved and baked dolls are a unique work of art. There are also
dolls created by modern craftsmen.
on display here
unique dolls have been brought to Sri Lanka by the Japanese travelling
exhibition that tours the world with the aim of introducing Japanese
culture overseas. Organised by the Japanese Foundation, the dolls
have been exhibited in several international art exhibitions such
as the Venice Biennale, Sao Paulo Biennale and other museums.
Held for the
third time in Sri Lanka, the exhibition this year will display around
70 different dolls. The event also commemorates 50 years of diplomatic
relations between Sri Lanka and Japan.
is open to the public, from September 25 to 30 at the Public Library
main auditorium between 9.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.
specially invite schoolchildren to this unique opportunity of viewing
Japanese culture. "Dolls are not meant for play as in Sri Lanka.
They are very expensive ornaments that reflect Japanese traditions
like Ikebana or Bonsai," says J. Bandaranaike of the Japanese
the extraordinary quality of these dolls, the Second Secretary,
Information and Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Japan, T. Noda said,
"These are made by highly skilled craftsmen either in cloth,
ceramic, wood, plaster of Paris or a combination of these and are
sold to suit different budgets."