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Caroline was commisioned to participate in a major research project led by the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture. MoDA’s Designated Silver Studio Collection includes four hundred Japanese katagami, traditional resist-printing stencils for textiles. The project focused on katagami as a source of inspiration for artists and designers, both historically and today involving research that brings together an historical perspective with a practice-based approach.  


Inspired by Japanese paper stencils used within traditional textile printing of kimonos, Caroline’s film Waves draws on the rich textile culture of Japan and the traditional art of paper folding ‘origami’. The title of the piece was suggested by the water and wave inspired patterns that are a common motif within the katagami stencils.


The filmed performance with movement artist Masumi Saito explores the architecture of a paper costume that incorporates katagami and origami techniques. The costume itself is made from 20 meters of Japanese mulberry paper that has been intricately folded and cut before being fashioned to a kimono design with an extended skirt. The folds used for the costume include a traditional Japanese fold, ‘waterbomb’ fold, and a circular fold thought to originate from the Bauhaus School of Art and Design, Germany.


The performance explores how costume can combine with the performer’s movements to create a sequence of transformative forms originating from the costumed body. The film is non-narrative and is mainly an audio visual spectacle for the eye that celebrates colour and movement supported by an accompanying soundscape. The style of the film is inspired by early moving pictures and the documentation of the choreography and costumes of the American choreographer Loie Fuller.



Photography by MoDA.


Funded by Arts Council England through their Designation Development Fund. The case study of the Katagami in Practice project can be viewed on the Arts Council England website here