Exhibition Notice—Funa Asobi Gallery

Funa Asobi Gallery—Cut Glass by Toshiyasu Nakamura

Friday 2nd June to Sunday 11th June 2017

After leaving the Toyama City Institute of Glass Art located on the northwestern coast of Japan, Toshiyasu further honed his skills in glass but now mainly works with cut glass.  The softness of the cut edges and surfaces draw us into a kaleidoscopic world.  In this exhibit, however, his work in clear glass creates a different see-through world to delight us.


A Box of Trays

Pure Design—Wajima Kirimoto Woodcraft
The craft scene in Japan is multi-faceted.  There are heroic examples of studio craft.  There are folk crafts.  There are fine traditional crafts representing repeated and well tried formulas to create very beautiful pieces of tableware that not only grace people’s tables at home but also find their way into eateries both lowly and highly exclusive.  It is something special about Japan.

To have a venerable heritage of craftsmanship that is still thriving and accessible in the twenty-first century is exceptional. It is a valuable reference point for craft items made today.  It is the super-speed and interconnected electronic world we live in today that gives as access to all this.  A resource to be respected.

To have ancient skills available is certainly not to be scoffed at.  Add to this a design sense that has been years if not millennia in the making and what do we have?  A piece of modern design with a heritage.  A piece of design with an inherent sense of custom coupled with a ritual and ceremonial observance of practice.

An eminent example of such a piece of work is this box of stacking trays.  It was made in the workshop of Kirimoto Woodcraft.  The clarity of its lines and overall design has much to do with the fact that Taiichi Kirimoto is himself a grandee of this kind of craftwork—a trained designer with inherited woodworking skill.

Made of asunaro, a type of cypress native to Japan and adored on the Noto peninsula, the box houses trays of various depths on which to serve food.  Presented at a function in Paris earlier this year, the plain wood is finished with a material which enhances the qualities of the timber while preserving its natural aroma.  Just two of the trays are finished with vermillion true lacquer using the simplest of apply-and-wipe technique that has been handed down for centuries.

Taiichi Kirimoto second from the left.
This beautiful item is representative of what the Japanese do so well—a combination of the past with the present, while providing a highly functional solution of compact storage.  There is nothing self-conscious, nothing awkward.  It is just pure design.

Kirimoto Woodcraft Photo © Copyright

A video presentation in French and Japanese on the Kasane bako—A box of stacking trays:

Other posts on Taiichi Kirimoto can be found in from Noto at Wajima Kirimoto Woodcraft Workshop, posted 25/10/2016 and 2016 Snapshot 18 Learning from the Ancients, posted 13/10/2016.

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