“Somé Mono Project – Investigating Somé Dye work from Japan and beyond its borders” is a project by Australian Textile artist Melinda Heal to share unique Dyeing (染め Somé ) art from Japan and beyond. Profiling young innovative creatives as well as knowledgeable masters of Somé techniques and bringing the genre recognition outside of Japan.
How can we define Somé as a genre and can dye work be considered authentic Somé when taken outside of Japan? What will the future hold for Somé techniques that rely heavily on traditional materials, tools and presentation formats? Let’s find out.
Melinda graduated from the Australian National University with a double degree in Asian Studies/Visual Arts in 2009. She spent 4 years living and studying in Kyoto, Japan, funded by a scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).
In 2015 she completed a Masters of Visual Arts at Kyoto Seika University in Textiles, focusing on the traditional techniques of kata-zome and yu-zen dyeing.
Melinda is passionate about finding out what makes Japanese dyeing different from other textiles around the world and the borderlines between “Art” and “Craft”.
Currently living and making and practicing her Japanese in Canberra, Australia.