Culture, between tradition and audacity: combining tapestry with Hayao MIYAZAKI

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MIYAZAKI invites itself to the International Tapestry City. For more than 10 years, the International Tapestry City has been promoting the art of French tapestry around the world. Inscribed since 2009 by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, the International Tapestry City in Aubusson makes every effort to promote this know-how. In 2017, she launched a collection of event-hangings called “Aubusson Weaves Tolkien”. Thus, 13 hangings and 1 carpets are from this “monument” of British literature. After Tolkien, it is the artist Hayao MIYAZAKI who is honoring the French tradition… Indeed, this year, head to Japan with the studio Ghibli for a collection of drapes inspired by animated films and the fascinating world of the Japanese director. An operation entitled “The Imagination of Hayao MIYAZAKI in Aubusson Tapestry”.

Tapestry, from an old-world art to an assertive modernity “in large format”

For the international tapestry city, the choice of two great world-renowned designers, J.R.R. Tolkien and today Hayao MIYAZAKI, for his event drapes is not insignificant. Indeed, through these collections, she wants to breathe new life into the tapestry. Indeed, it often evokes an outdated art. Thus, by also addressing the younger generations with cultural references of their time, it marks a turning point for modernity and its desire to mix old know-how with modernity. In addition, through these international references, it aims to spread the french tapestry and know-how all over the world. A bold and dynamic new start for tapestry (1).

The project was unveiled by Valérie Simonet, President of the Creuse Departmental Council and President of the City, in the presence of Alain ROUSSET, President of the Regional Council of New Aquitaine in a press conference held on 16 October 2020 at the MECA in Bordeaux. Thus, the project will start on October 16, followed by the opening of a space dedicated to the project within the City of Tapestry. The first weavings will start in early 2021 and finish in 2023. During this conference, it was also discussed to review the various issues and development projects for the city over the coming year. The aim is to spread the art of tapestry around the world and introduce it to new generations (2).

A modern size reference for tapestry

For this, 5 works from the films of Hayao MIYAZAKIvont beings realized. In the director’s many animated films, the City has chosen The Voyage of Chihiro, The Walking Castle, Princess Mononoké, Nausica of the Wind Valley. These films are all the more topical, because they carry messages related to current issues. Indeed, the director is interested in nature and its protection, the disease and the ephemeral aspect of life, feminism, human defects, and the scourge of war.

In addition to inviting a new target to discover the art of tapestry, it is also a way for the city to reconnect with other lost traditions. Indeed, this collection will reconnect with the tradition of narrative hangings of the 17th and 18th centuries created in reference to the important literary texts of the time. It also involves the development of new techniques. Indeed, it is necessary to transcribe the models of the films on the monumental dimensions of the tapestry format. It is not just an enlargement, but really a transcript of the drawing with a sampling of colors and textures (1). Thus, we see the intersection between traditional and modern crafts of tapestry and design.

red carpet flowers
Tapestry, an ancient know-how that takes the turn of modernity

When Art comes to the heart of regional discovery

It is already possible to visit the exhibition dedicated to the project within the City of Tapestry. Tickets can be booked online from €5.50 to €8. It also makes it easier to come and avoid waiting in the museum. A paired ticket offer to visit the exhibition of the Church of Our Lady of the Castle is also available. This initiative is part of sustainable and local tourism (3). Sustainable tourism aims to respect, preserve and enhance heritage resources.

A territory adapted to demand

This type of tourism has become even more developed as a result of the epidemic that is affecting the whole world. The crisis of COVID 19 has profoundly changed the mores in terms of travel. Indeed, the future is uncertain and international travel is increasingly difficult. As a result, consumers make local trips and are in demand for authenticity and nature (4). Territories such as the Creuse have therefore been zones of withdrawal for these consumers in search of safe values.

Aubusson, a Unesco intangible cultural heritage site, is considered a territory of excellence. Beyond the Tapestry City, visitors can discover a whole architectural heritage. Indeed there are small villages to discover around as for example the village of GENTIOUX-PIGEROLLES. They can also take the breath of fresh air, which they need after this difficult period, in natural areas such as the Millevaches Regional Natural Park (5).

Event collections are a promising way to promote French know-how. It is also a way to spread the industry around the world. This action allows us to meet a new and dynamic generation. It is thus an unusual encounter between ancient know-how and modernity. Beyond that, this initiative is part of the development of sustainable tourism for the Creuse and the New Aquitaine region, which can take advantage of the influence of this collection to showcase the other riches of the territory.


(1) October 2020 Press Kit – Hayao Miyazaki’s Imagination in Aubusson Tapestry

(2) Exhibition – City of Tapestry

(3) Ticket reservation – Reservation Elloha

(4) Clémence Leroy – “Airbnb is committed to valuing the territory and sustainable tourism” Article of 23 September 2020 – BORDEAUX Business

(5) Digging Tourism

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