We are all surrounded with various patterns and designs. Humans have developed numerous patterns in their daily life since ancient times. Also in nature, we can find a full selection of unique shapes and colors which compose distinguishable patterns which may have inspired us to create new designs. Eventually, those patterns and designs became more than mere decorations; some carry the meaning of wishes and prayers, and some others are attributed with supernatural powers. They had been inseparable from human society.
In modern times and after, however, art was detached from our life and required to be more independent as itself. Thus the presence of patterns reduced in significance and tended to be considered as second-grade as crafts and designs in the world of art. On the other hand, there are always some artists who explore and develop the expression of patterns by actively adopting them as a component of their creations and demanding the restoration of their status as a beauty of usefulness. Today, the world of patterns is thriving by stretching its borders and increasing variations across individual genres — some artworks give a new life to old patterns while maintaining traditional techniques, some other works focus on the patterns displayed in the raw materials, some abstract paintings appear almost like a pattern, and some conceptual artworks apply patterns as symbols and emblems.
Cooperating with Wakayama Prefecture Kii-Fudomine-no-Oka Museum of Archaeology and Folklore, Wakayama Prefectural Museum, Wakayama City Museum and Wakayama Prefectural Museum of Natural History, this exhibition approaches the world of patterns and designs from multiple angles and reexamines its potential as artistic expressions.