Textural Space: Japanese Art, Norwich

Textural Space: Contemporary Japanese Textile Art, the latest exhibition inside Norman Foster's imposing Sainsbury Centre in Norwich, is the perfect match for its awesome post-modern beauty.

By MIRANDA YATES

Textural Space: Contemporary Japanese Textile Art, the latest exhibition inside Norman Foster's imposing Sainsbury Centre in Norwich, is the perfect match for its awesome post-modern beauty. Because British textile art evolved from embroidery and tapestry, when it comes to fabrics we British like to get in close and see how it's done.

But these extraordinary large-scale Japanese sculptures, created from knitted and woven cloths and metals, evade all attempts to de-construct their secrets. Many techniques are unfathomably intricate and some materials, particularly the papers, are unknown to us. The effect is gloriously other-worldly.

Machiko Agano's daunting six-metre-wide web of fishing wire – hand knitted with giant needles – turns metal into soft organic waves.


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Many installations are influenced by architecture. Koji Takaki's delicate hanging tubes of woven linen quake like the derelict skeletons of high rises, as human traffic whistles by. Asako Ishizaki's Field is a ruff of stiff pleated bamboo and linen. Watch light and shade on it, and you'll see the occasional frown of a moving cloud across tilled soil.

Textural spaces can alienate at first but it is worth putting in the time and silence needed before they weave their spell on you.

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t The exhibition is continues to September 2.

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