japan house los angeles presents hida | a woodwork tradition in the making, a new exhibition that brings japanese woodcraft from its spiritual homeland of the hida region of japan to los angeles for the first time. on display from january 16 through april 12, 2020, the exhibition invites visitors to discover the legendary craftsmen of hida and their design legacy today, embodied in the work of century-old furniture maker hida sangyo co., ltd. displays highlight regional specialties such as hida-shunkei lacquerware, ichii wood carving (ichii itto bori — japanese yew carving), and mageki (wood bending), as well as materials, prototypes, and products developed by hida sangyo and its frequent collaborations with some of the world’s top contemporary designers, such as enzo mari and sori yanagi. japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angelesall images © japan house los angeles 

 

 

with hida | a woodwork tradition in the making, japan house los angeles invites visitors to discover the spirit of japanese woodcraft through legendary artisans. located in the center of the country in gifu prefecture, the hida region became known for its woodworking traditions and skilled artisans 1,300 years ago. this fame continues today through innovative design and sustainable use of the region’s forests, particularly the iconic cedar tree, in everything from contemporary furniture to fragrant aroma oils. japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

 

 

the exhibition is organized around four core principles as embodied in the work of hida sangyo co., ltd., one of the oldest furniture manufacturers in japan, founded in 1920. the central ideas include coexistence with the forest (forest), consideration of inherent human needs (human), legacy cultivated through time (time), and continuous refinement of craft (craft). select items on display include a chair designed by the late sori yanagi utilizing wood-bending techniques native to hida and part of the permanent collection at the victoria & albert museum, london; and a branch spoon created by ibuki kaiyama utilizing a traditional chiseling technique.

 japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

 

 

the exhibition at japan house los angeles also spotlights where tradition meets technology and innovation, such as hida sangyo’s revolutionary wood compression techniques with cedar. this sustainable domestic wood is typically too soft for long-lasting furniture, but in the hida sangyo factory, cedar is compressed and strengthened for use in durable chairs, tables and flooring imbued with cedar’s subtle scent. as a business leader, hida sangyo’s success has also influenced a community of other manufacturers to stay in, or migrate to, the area, furthering the time-honored mastery of the region’s woodcraft. this exhibition provides an opportunity to experience the current progress of this journey through contemporary furniture and lifestyle goods made by the area’s craftsmen, while enjoying the charm and soulfulness of wood and the ever-evolving aesthetic of japanese craft.

japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

japan house exhibits traditional japanese woodcraft from the hida region in los angeles

 

 

 

project info:

 

 

name: hida | a woodwork tradition in the making

presented by: japan house los angeles

exhibition content: hida sangyo co., ltd.

exhibition and graphic design: daigo daikoku

planning and production assistance: intertrend communications, inc.

content contribution: historical archive office, takayama city board of education

planning support: city of takayama