KATACHI. The essence of Japanese design

Exhibition  /  09 Jun 2006  -  05 Sep 2006
Published: 09.06.2006
Mari Ishikawa. Brooch: Blooming Red Pearl, 2004. Silver 935, Japanese Kozo Paper, Japanese laquer, Tahiti Pearl. 80/65/30 mm. Mari Ishikawa
Brooch: Blooming Red Pearl, 2004
Silver 935, Japanese Kozo Paper, Japanese laquer, Tahiti Pearl
80/65/30 mm
© By the author. Read Copyright.

(...) Embodying the marriage of beauty and functionality that is the key to the Japanese aesthetics (...)

Artist list

Masako Ban, Mari Ishikawa, Jiro Kamata, Jun Konishi, Shigeki Kubo, Tomomi Matsunaga, Mikiko Minewaki, Yuka Murakami, Kaoru Nakano, Kazuhiko Takadoi, Kazuya Takahashi, Kenji Toki

Katachi symbolises the essence of Japanese design - the form, symmetry and workmanship of traditional crafts. Embodying the marriage of beauty and functionality that is the key to the Japanese aesthetics. The objects to be shown at flow gallery in the Summer 2006 will be made of materials that have played an important role in Japanese life for centuries; paper, wood, bamboo, fibre, clay, metal and stone..

The harmony of objects on display - of gentle forms emanating quiet spirituality - will demonstrate the ever-evolving nature of Japanese crafts.

Japanese forms are gentle and susceptible to change and have a fragility that evaporates into atmosphere.

About the artists

Masako Ban's acrylic jewellery combines Urushi (Japanese lacquer) which gives final crafted pieces a softness of wood with flexibility and transparency of plastics.

Mari Ishikawa uses paper as her main material in jewellery and explores the organic forms found in nature through the use of colour - mainly red and precious metals.

Mikiko Minewaki uses brightly coloured plastics to produce jewellery which remind her of travels and childhood. She was born in the countryside in Japan where she picked flowers, and leaves from the fields to make necklaces, rings and crowns from them.

Yaku Murakami's ceramics reflect his interest in natural decay of objects such as rusting metals, crumbling walls and eroding rocks. The power of these objects undergoing such processes increases with time. He tries to capture these qualities in his work.

Kaori Tatebayashi uses clay as a device to make fragments of time visible. She further adds: " I want to preserve the intimate and the transient recollections of our lives and seal them in clay like a fern petrified into a fossil. As clay looses its organic life in the firing it allows time to become encased. The nature of fired clay incorporates both fragility and permanence and it is this which enables the material to record elusive things like memory."

Tomomi Matsunaga uses carved bamboo, a traditional Japanese material which she coats with Urushi . " I was born in Kyoto and grew up in a particularly traditional environment. My choice of materials and methods is influenced by the fact that I have always been surrounded by the arts"

Kaoru Nakano's Washi (Japanese handmade paper) and silver jewellery appears like coral, some pieces measuring 15 cms in length. Made from the fibre of paper mulberry each of the folds are immersed in glue, rolled by hand and dried. The paper becomes quite stretchable. While many of her designs become brooches others are formed into rings, equally as powerful. And instead of traditional stones, each ring encases hundreds of folds of paper. With some rings, the paper is arranged horizontally while in others its is carefully entwined like the petals of a rose".

Kenji Toki works in Urushi, which is a very traditional Japanese material in a revolutionary way creating large site-specific sculptures for the interior and exterior use. Urushi crafts have been based on very traditional designs and suffered from an insular outlook. Kenji wishes to create contemporary objects from the material for the 21st Century.

Shigeki Kudo uses a very old technique of splitting wood into layers, called Hegi. He creates boxes, plates and vases with perfectly aligned joints using natural splits. The beautiful natural forms he creates exist on the boundary of sculpture and craft.

Kazuya Takahashi throws and slipcasts porcelain which is then fired without glazes. He likes to juxtapose sharp edged forms with curvilinear and gentle lines.

Kazuhito Takadoi "I am fascinated by shadows, from the deepest black in midsummer to pale silver grey in the weak winter sun. I take joy in witnessing the slow decay of nature, By using materials provided by Nature, my art slowly changes colour. Viewing from different angles and in different lights provides a new perspective."
Mikiko Minewaki. Ring: Lighter's, 2002. Mikiko Minewaki
Ring: Lighter's, 2002
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Masako Ban. Necklace: Dial. Acrylic. Masako, BanNecklace / neckpiece: DialAcrylic. Masako Ban
Necklace: Dial

Masako, Ban
Necklace / neckpiece: Dial

© By the author. Read Copyright.
Jiro Kamata. Ring: Untitled. Plastic lens, gold. Jiro, KamataRingPlastic lens, gold. Jiro Kamata
Ring: Untitled
Plastic lens, gold

Jiro, Kamata
Plastic lens, gold

© By the author. Read Copyright.
Jun Konishi. Pendant: Tokyo virus papa, 2006. Plastic, silver. Jun Konishi
Pendant: Tokyo virus papa, 2006
Plastic, silver
© By the author. Read Copyright.