Event to bring Japan's 'retro' culture to Naperville
"Retro is new in Japan" reads the promo page for a new Japanese cultural event a craft arts studio is hosting in Naperville. Motoko Izumi would know.
A Japanese native who's lived in Naperville for 15 years, she launched Artezanato Studio Craft Gallery in the fall to sell the traditional crafts of her homeland and other nations.
In Japan, Izumi says, a younger generation of craftsmen, artisans, chefs, martial artists and floral arrangers is reviving the nation's cultural practices and incorporating them into today's digital living.
"There is lots of movement to rediscover and repurpose traditional arts and bring them into our contemporary lifestyle," Izumi said.
It's that rebirth of traditional culture that Izumi hopes to bring to attendees of her first community gathering, called a Cultural Event on Japanese Culture, from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 at the Naperville Woman's Club's Old Stone Church, 14 S. Washington St.
"I just want to bring some awareness for the Asian community," Izumi said.
Highlights include a special visiting art exhibit from three members of Kyoto Craftsmen Studio in Kyoto, Japan, a Japanese tea ceremony, a silent auction of items including kimono costumes, woodworks and Urushi lacquer arts and martial arts performances by athletes from the Japanese Culture Center in Chicago.
"We are trying to bring something they really do not get to see in this area, like aikido which is a different form of the martial arts," Izumi said.
Attendees also can see a rice bowl cooking demonstration and learn how they can find Japanese ingredients at any grocery store and quickly prepare what Izumi called the country's "staple meal."
Another Naperville resident and Japanese native, Annika Au of the Ohara school of Ikebana floral arranging in Chicago, will illustrate the process of putting together an artistic display of blooms.
"She will demonstrate from the very beginning of the arrangement, from scratch, how to cut the flowers," Izumi said. "She'll go through every step so that people will see how the Japanese flower arrangement will be done."
The cultural event is for people 12 and older, and tickets are available online at Artezanato's website, artezanatostudio.com, or at the door for $5 more. Online tickets are $5 for junior high and high school students, $10 for college students and senior citizens and $15 for adults.
The festival gets an early start Thursday, Feb. 11, with an opening reception and sake tasting at the gallery, 231 S. Washington St., Suite 105. For adults 21 and older, the reception includes appetizers from Sushi House in Wheaton, a sake tasting with pairing suggestions, a presentation about trends in Kyoto's modern craft arts and a preview of crafts for sale at Friday's event.
Tickets to the opening reception are $25 online and $30 at the door.
If the cultural evenings are a success, Izumi said she plans to offer future events focusing on other countries from which she sells traditional arts. Next up could be Brazil, she said.
If you goWhat: Cultural Event on Japanese Culture
When: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 with an opening reception 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11
Where: Cultural event at Naperville Woman's Club's Old Stone Church, 14 S. Washington St., Naperville; opening reception at Artezanato Studio, 231 S. Washington St., suite 105
Who: Hosted by Artezanato Studio Craft Gallery; cultural event for ages 12 and older; opening reception for ages 21 and older
Cost: Cultural event: Junior high and high school students $5, seniors and college students $10, adults $15; opening reception: adults $25 (all ticket prices increase $5 at the door)