Insight into Beauty Contemporary Craft Inspired by Japan

Date: current – 27 November 2009
Venue: The Embassy of Japan, 101 – 104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT
Fee: Admission is free, but photo ID is necessary to gain entry to the Embassy.
Organiser: The Embassy of Japan in the UK

This exhibition at the Embassy of Japan presents various aspects of contemporary craft made in the United Kingdom yet inspired by Japanese materials, techniques and design. It looks at basketry, lacquer ware, ceramics and textile arts created by both Japanese and non-Japanese artists alike. The name of the exhibition is taken from the words of Soetsu Yanagi (1889-1961), who led the Japanese mingei (folk crafts) movement fostering an interest in the aesthetic value of craftsmanship in Japan.
Louise Renae Anderson is a textile artist who uses indigo dye and ikat weaving techniques and Tim Parry-Williams, long-known for his collaborative work with Japanese makers is exhibiting textiles comprising ramie, paper and raw silk.
Basketmaker, Lee Dalby has designed a walk-in split-bamboo installation and Joanna Gilmour has created basketry from Phorrnium tenax, paper and willow – both especially for this exhibition.
Ceramicist, Lisa Hammond is famed for her Shino glaze pieces, exhibiting the extent of her skill with both large and small works. Akiko Hirai’s teabowls are a direct reference to her Japanese background while Kaori Tatebayashi displays Japanese white Kohiki ware with a more contemporary European take. The indigo sgrafitto slip decoration on Yo Thom’s stoneware takes inspiration from Japanese textiles yet it was only in the UK that she started throwing pots.
The lacquer produced by fine lacquer craftsman, Takashi Wakamiya, (whose delicate work is also exhibited) is employed in the stylish tableware created by product designer, Emiko Oki while Eve Vautier uses the French lacquering technique, vernis Martin, to produce distinctly contemporary jewellery.
This exhibition is a part of Asian Art in London.

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