Morimoto, Kikuo Biography
Morimoto Kikuo was born in Kyoto in 1948. In 1975, after a five-year apprenticeship, he started his career in the Japanese textile technique of painting and dyeing kimono fabric known as yuzen. In 1980 he made his first visit to Bangkok, where he discovered Khmer traditional silk ikat textiles at the National Museum.
In 1983, Morimoto moved to Thailand to serve as a volunteer in refugee camps in Northeast Thailand. He started a hand-weaving project in a village in Roi Et province in 1984. After leave the project, he started to examine natural dyeing practices in the region. In 1988, he opened Bai Mai, a shop in Bangkok selling handspun silk dyed with natural dyes. In 1990, as a collaborating researcher for The Textile Museum (Washington, DC), he compiled a report entitled "Traditional Dyeing Methods in Northeast Thailand". From 1992 to 1995, he taught natural dyeing in the King Mongkut Institute of Technology (Bangkok).
In 1995, Morimoto was asked by UNESCO Cambodia to serve as a consultant for a project on the revival of traditional silk weaving. Following this first exploration of textiles in Cambodia, he researched and submitted a report, "Silk Production and Marketing in Cambodia". He remained in Cambodia, where he started a project to raise silkworms in Takaor village, Kampot province.
In 1996, Morimoto founded IKTT (the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles) in a suburb of Phnom Penh. In 2000, he moved the Institute to Siem Reap, where he set up a workshop for weaving and dyeing with the goal of enabling elder craftspeople to hand on their skills to younger generations. In 2002, he purchased five hectares of land north of Angkor to begin his next project, "Wisdom from the Forest". In 2003, IKTT held an exhibition and seminar, "Hol, The Art of Cambodian Textiles," in collaboration with the Center for Khmer Studies in Siem Reap. In 2004, Morimoto received a Rolex Award for Enterprise. In 2007, he had the honor to be granted a royal audience with King Sihamoni at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh.
Bayon Moon - Reviving Cambodia's Textile Traditions
My book in English version, "Bayon Moon - Reviving Cambodia's Textile Traditions", was published (paper book A5 size, 160 pages).
update : April 22, 2004 1:37 PM