LIC gallery features Japanese knitted dolls

LIC gallery features Japanese knitted dolls
Long Island City is one of three locations housing a Japanese Culture Center known as Resobox.
Courtesy of Takashi Ikezawa
By Merle Exit

The Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures is the subject of the latest exhibition at Resobox, a Japanese gallery and studio at 41-26 27th St. in Long Island City.

The art, known as amigurumi, will be featured through March 31 at the gallery, one of three Resobox locations in New York City. The other two are in Chelsea and the East Village.

The exhibition — titled “World Amigurumi Exhibition Vol. 4: Dolls for Daily Life!” — comprises 4,500 amigurumi dolls, collected from about 120 professional artists in 45 countries.

Resobox was founded in 2011 by Takashi Ikezawa, a Japanese native who said the name was a combination of the words “resonating” and “box.”

“I envisioned a culture center not only where Japanese art can be displayed but to give the opportunity for both Japanese born and ancestry to have a place to mingle and learn,” Ikezawa said. “This 700-square-foot space has an area for socializing, an event space, a separate classroom and a cafe. We are open to share our culture with anyone who cares to enjoy our space.”

His strong identification with Japanese culture stems from four years of his experience as a guide on Mount Fuji, a place that is historic as well as sacred to Japanese people.

The Long Island City location is open every day. “People can come here simply to view the art and perhaps have macha tea,” Ikezawa said. “In regards to classes, we teach the Japanese language, as well as creating bonsai, amigurumi, origami, Japanese dance and Japanese cooking.”

The cafe serves udon, ramen, rice bowl dishes, salads, appetizers, sushi, desserts and drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The gallery’s opening hours are noon to 4 and 6 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 10 Saturday and noon to 6 Sunday.

All locations are free to the public.

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