On 23rd August 2014, in recognition of the 20 year sister city relationship between Sakai and Wellington, a symbolic giant kimono was erected as the centrepiece for the Wellington Japan Festival held in the TSB Arena. This kimono was a collaborative piece of art created by school students and youth groups in the Greater Wellington and Kansai areas.
The kimono was originally intended to be a collaborative piece of hanging art produced by students from Sakai and Wellington cities. This geographical area eventually expanded to include contributions from schools in the Hutt Valley, Minoh and Kyoto. The project also had a contribution from a Wellington Brownies and Rangers Group. The art work was to be inspired by the students’ environment with representations of their cities and New Zealand and Japanese cultures.
Participating schools in Wellington and Kansai were sent specially cut calico material and paints to be used in the kimono artwork. The completed artworks were then returned to be assembled into the final kimono for display at the Japan Festival. The final kimono is thought to be the first of its kind in New Zealand and largest at 11m (height) x 9m (width) with a total coverage of 160m².
Following its display at the TSB Arena during the 2014 Wellington Japan Festival, the kimono was dismantled into pieces and each participating group received a piece created by the other country in artistic exchange along with a memorial book of thanks and recognition (in both English and Japanese) outlining the project and including descriptions of each individual artwork.
This project was the brain child of the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) Wellington chapter and was completed with support from WSA and WSA members, Hutt Minoh Friendship Trust, and Wellington City Council as well as other local businesses.
If you wish to purchase a copy of the memorial book (there is a small charge to cover printing costs) please email firstname.lastname@example.org.