(PRESS RELEASE)_DELRAY BEACH—According to many historians, kites first soared the skies in China nearly 3,000 years ago and were later introduced in Japan and India by Chinese monks and traders. Today, the ancient aerial practice of kite flying has evolved into a beloved pastime parents can share with their children to foster patience, problem solving, and self-expression.
In celebration of Father’s Day, Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens will host a weekend of interactive, kite-making workshops for adults and children on June 15 and 16. The weekend will culminate with an afternoon of kite flying on Sunday, from 1:30-4:30 p.m.
In these workshops, participants will learn about Japanese tako, or kites, their varying styles and shapes, and the techniques and materials needed to bring them to life. They’ll also design rocket kites or more traditional iterations made from bamboo and washi, or Japanese paper, and employ a paper-dyeing technique known as orizome.
Workshops will be led by Mikio Toki, a world-renowned kite master whose works are showcased publicly and are on permanent display in museums like the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Growing up in Tokyo when kite flying was a popular children’s activity, Toki crafted his first kite when he was ten years old. Fifteen years later, he studied the art of Edo, or Tokyo-style, kite design from legendary kite master and Edo-kite Preservation Society founder, Katsuhisa Ota. Today, he travels around the world educating children and adults about the wonders of kite art and its tethering effect on Japan’s present and ancient past. A selection of his kites is available for purchase in the Morikami Museum’s gift shop.
Learn more about the illustrious and illuminating history of Japanese kite flying in the current exhibit, “Falling Water, Soaring Kites,” on display through August 11. Featuring an array of kites in vibrant hues and bold silhouettes, the exhibit also showcases celebrated Japanese waterfalls, as depicted through 19th and 20th century prints, paintings, lacquerware, and other decorative arts and crafts.
The adult/youth kite-making workshop, where participants will build and decorate dyed kites, will be held on June 15, from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Cost is $50 per person, plus a $10 material fee. The workshop is open to adults and children ages 14 and older.
The family kite-making workshop, where participants will build and decorate rocket kites, will be held on June 15 and 16, from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Cost is $30 for 1 parent and 1 child, plus a $5 materials fee for each participant. There’s a $10 charge for each additional family member. The workshop is open to parents and children ages 8 and older.
Workshops will be held at the Oki Education Center and will include kite flying, weather permitting. Advance registration is required.
In the event of inclement weather, Mikio Toki will present a lecture on Japanese kites in the theater.
For more information or to register, call (561) 495-0233 or visit morikami.org/event/kite-flying-at-morikami-gardens/. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is located at 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach, FL.
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