'the mingei spirit in japan, from folk craft to design' 'the mingei spirit in japan, from folk craft to design'
sep 03, 2008

'the mingei spirit in japan, from folk craft to design'

‘light’ by sori yanai, light and paper, 1979 © musée du quai branly / yanagi design institute, tokyo

the mingei spirit in japan, from folk craft to design
at: musée du quai branly, paris
from: september 30th, 2008 – january 11th, 2009

the traditional craft, along with the craftsmen who practice it has started to disappear.
with the growing increase in commercial and machine-made objects, art and design is
beginning to see a change in production methods. ‘the mingei spirit in japan,
from folk craft to design’ is an exhibition which provides a place to express the work of the
artist-craftsmen who supported the activities of soetsu yanagi, great defender of traditional
craftsmanship of the far east, along with his son sori yanagi, pioneer of post-war design
in japan.

during the meiji period which was lead by soetsu yanagi, luxury and showiness was not favored. instead, yanagi and a new generation of artist craftsmen were interested in revealing the true beauty of everyday objects and their spiritual dimension, along with the conditions in which craftsmanship could thrive in the the future.

this exhibition considers the links between traditional craft objects and the impact of industrialization.  it presents the influences of yanagi on craft traditions and the mixed relations between the traditional and modern aspects of the objects on show. the aesthetic and technical qualities of local japanese traditions are highlighted from when they were originally made to the moment when they found themselves threatened by the standardization of globalisation.

‘kashiwado chair’ by isamu kenmochi, cedar wood, 1961 © musée du quai branly / mie prefectural art museum, tsu

‘vase with one hole’ by isamu noguchi, terracotta and enamel, 1950 © musée du quai branly / the isamu nogchi foundation and garden museum, new york

‘my mu’ by isamu noguci, terracotta of shigaraki, 1950 © the isamu nogchi foundation and garden museum, new york

‘bamboo basket chair’ by isamu noguchi and isamu knemochi, 1950 © musée du quai branly / the isamu nogchi foundation and garden museum, new york

‘jar’ by kenkichi tomimoto, porcelain, 1943 © musée du quai branly / ohara museum of art, kurashiki



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