fruit & regent exhibition by hisakazu shimizu at club esta
all images © 2013 takumi ota photography

 

 

 

the artistic vocation of japanese designer hisakazu shimizu encompasses the examination of humble imagery and items, and their reimagination as functional pieces, products, and installations. the breadth of his work encompasses a expansive and visionary range of colorful objects and installments, striking the perfect balance of usability and beauty. fruit, animals, mushrooms, and hair are some of the pedestrian motifs and articles that shimizu transposes into domestic housewares and practical treasures, bringing ingredients of fantasy and whimsy into the traditional design context. for ‘fruit & regent’, a recent exhibit at club esta showroom, tokyo the designer showcased a range of both recent work and trademark favorites characteristic of his creative career.

 

 

fruit & regent exhibition by hisakazu shimizu at club esta
installation view of ‘fruit & regent’

 

 

one such work exemplifying shimizu’s aesthetic is  featured at the exhibit’s centerpiece: ‘reclining regent’, a large-scale sculpture of an abstracted face with a pompadour hairstyle. acting as a symbol of strength and youth, the ‘regent’ motif plays heavily throughout his work, appropriated onto mirrors, as stools, and into sculptures. drawing from a previous execution ‘regent in olives’, a free standing variation, which designboom has previously covered here, the artwork serves as both a sculpture and seat. 

 

 

fruit & regent exhibition by hisakazu shimizu at club esta
‘sticker mirror’, 2013

 

 

‘sticker mirror’ pays homage to the now-grown children who used to façade their bedroom furniture and belongings with vibrantly colored stickers. the food-based motifs are appropriated from his lovable bad design collection — a series of which spotlighted modest, everyday items in which shimizu believes the true essence of design resides — and are plastered directly onto the surface of a wooden reflective frame.

 

 

fruit & regent exhibition by hisakazu shimizu at club esta
‘mountain range table – peak of good’, 2005

 

 

‘mountain range table – peak of good’ rethinks the traditional context of ordinary tabletop. a rugged mountain range with small, imaginative creatures grazing on their peaks covers the surface.  

 

 

fruit & regent exhibition by hisakazu shimizu at club esta
‘chew-chew shade’, 1997 on the left beside ‘fruit table lamp’, 2011

 

 

‘chew-chew shade’ lighting fixture is a shade made from ‘chew-chew ice’ treats that shimizu often ate in his childhood. the pieces are removable and can be changed to suit a person’s color preference. in the exhibition, the design is placed beside ‘fruit table lamp’ a juicy, vivid blown glass light expressing the universal appeal of fruit. a rubber stem completes each item, all of which are set on a wooden tray.

 

 

fruit & regent exhibition by hisakazu shimizu at club esta
installation view of ‘fruit & regent’

 

 

‘mound stool’ is structured as if molten metal was molded by hand, creating a piece whose shape falls between an oval and a square.the fungi-like form was arranged from one mass stacked on another followed by the incorporation traditional bronze-casting techniques passed down through the centuries for its fabrication. shimizu explains, ‘balancing one piece on top of the other gave it a shape that seemed good to use as a stool or a side table. I named it ‘mound stool’ because of its stacked shape.’

 

 

fruit & regent exhibition by hisakazu shimizu at club esta
hisakazu shimizu seated on ‘reclining regent’