Contemporary Artists and Designers Showcase Traditions of Japanese Beauty

NEW YORK—The exhibit is appropriately titled. “Beauty in all Things: Japanese Art and Design” at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) features functional, sculptural and decorative objects. Almost all of them are exquisite and incredibly interesting. The show includes work by Japanese contemporary artists and designers that adheres to traditional concepts of beauty—shizen (beauty found in nature), wabi sabi (passage of time), and datsuzoku (surprise or fresh creativity).

MAD describes the approach of the artists thus: “Some push traditional techniques and materials in new directions, and others experiment with new technologies and materials within the context of historical practice.”

The exhibit is on view from Nov. 3, 2011, to June 22, 2012.

All photos by Arts Observer

Above, “Struggling Form (from the Ecstatic Series),” 1997 (glazed stoneware) by Harumi Nakashima; Top of page, “Cabbage Chair prototype,” 2008 (high intensity pleated paper) by Nendo.

The exhibit includes 60 objects drawn primarily from the Museum of Arts and Design collection. Foreground at right, “Sen Man Na Yu Ta,” 2003 (stainless steel filaments) by Kumai Kyoko; Far right (obscured), “Struggling Form (from the Ecstatic Series).”

“Tea Ceremony Chair,” 2010 (bamboo and Japanese ash) by Takada Hiroki.

“Co-twisted,” 2003 (paper and starch) by Tomoko Ishida.

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