The International Chodiev Foundation and the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum

It can be difficult to see how two worlds seem too far apart to have come together to take a stand to preserve art and its bearings. The International Chodiev Organization spearheaded by one of the ‘Trio’, Patokh Chodiev, is thousands of miles away from Japan, but his interest in the arts and a miraculous silver lining set the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum in his sights for a gracious and charitable act that would save one of the most creative pieces of Japanese culture.

The ICF and its charity efforts

The International Chodiev Foundation deals in various forms of philanthropy which includehelping charity organisations, funding grants and scholarships, and many more. Founded back in 1996 by billionaire Patokh Chodiev, he founded the organisationto increase public awareness of freedom of information and giving a high priority to the arts.

The life and times of Itchiku Kubota

The Museum’s central piece of works was from an artisan by the name of Itchiku Kubota. He started off his textile training as early as 14, but it was when he was at the ripe old age of 20 after seeing a work of tsujigahana, a decorative technique that combines brush painting, metallic leaf, and embroidery to create magnificent patterns on textile, that he chose to recreate and preserve the art form. From raising the 16th-century tradition to modern design, he incorporated contemporary colours on the kimonos which earned the moniker of “Itchiku tsujigahana” in honour of his discovery and artistic success. His collection of tsujigahana kimonos received worldwide acclaim after being initially exhibited in 1977 inTokyo, with its popularity reaching America and Europein the following years. The popular museums in Manassas have also attracted a lot of people over the years.

The Itchiku Kubota Collection

The International Chodiev Foundation was able to collect as much of his works from the Itchiku Kubota Museum before auctioning off the pieces individually, but these exhibits were incomplete. Kubota’s centralpiece entitled “Symphony of Light” was a collection of kimonos with alluring colours meant to depict the beauty of the universe. Kubota intended to create about 80 kimonos to complete the series, but he was only able to accomplish 36 of them before his untimely death in 2003. The pieces, when aligned together, depicted a beautiful landscape from autumn to winter snow, all in fantastic colour.

Facing an unprecedented calamity

Back in 2010, the Itchiku Kubota Museum located in the Yamanashi Japan was close to facing bankruptcy. Through Patokh Chodiev’s efforts and love of Japanese culture, the ICF came to the museum’s rescue by purchasing Itchiku Kubota’s prized pieces, all 104 of his “phantom fabrics” kimonos. Since it’s close encounter with being lost to the public eye, the ICF has since then sponsored and organised Itchiku Kubota’s collection to exhibitions outside Japan, having reached places as far as Moscow, Canada, and New York. Plans for touring the art pieces to the United Arab Emirates and France are being made to continue to raise awareness of Kubota’s work.


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