Happy New Year 2016

Wishing you a Happy New Year with the hope that you will have many blessings and your creative dreams come true in 2016.

Monkey with sun rise

Thank you all for visiting my blog and see you soon in 2016 with new contents in Takumist.

 

九谷焼:Kutani ware – New wave

I had a chance to meet with a young talented artist, Mai Kitai (北井真衣) from Kanazawa.   She makes Kutani porcelain by using the technic inspired by Mokubei Aoki, who is a porcelain artist back in 17th Century and was brought to Kutani to re-established Kutani ware.

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“I have heard that Kutani porcelains use motives from a slice of daily life, that inspired me” – Mai Kitai

What I was most interested was her unique themes and motifs. Working woman on her way to the office, two business men exchanging a business card, a girl applying a mascara sitting down on a bench at a part…… A slice of our modern life is drawn in her own nonchalant touches. Those scenes seem so familiar and provoke laughter.

The below pictures are only some example of teacups. The price for one cut is 8,000 yen (excluding tax).

I am keen to see how her work will evolve. I am sure her style will attract new segment of people to the world of Kutani ware.

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About Mai Kitai: 

Born in 1985 in kanazawa. Ceramic artist. After graduated from Kanazawa Kogyo University in 2008, she decided to pursue her career as a ceramic artist.  She graduated from Kanazawa college of art and gained a master degree in 2015.  She selects what she feels and observes in the modern daily life as a theme for her work. Once the theme is applied to her work,   the familiar everyday life  becomes unusual. She wants to express this transformation into a form of commodity products.

If you are interested in her work;

下町芸術祭(http://www.shinnagata-artcommons.com/#!kitai/cbo1)

Kokoshi cafe (http://kokoshi-cafe.com/?mode=grp&gid=957512)

 

九谷焼:Kutani ware

Kutani ware is one of the greatest of Japanese porcelains.

青手牡丹図

Kokutani

The style is said to be started in 1655 in Kutani (九谷)region, which is in the current Kaga city in Ishikawa prefecture. After 50 years its existence, it disappeared once from the front stage of porcelains’ world.  The reasons remain mystery even today.  In 1807, only 80 years later, Kokutani was re-established when the domain of Kaga that governed the region that time, brought Mokubei Aoki, a porcelain artist, from Kyoto and opened a kiln.

However, the history of Kokutani had never been easy. During the period of 1940-1960s, the origin of Kokutani ware was challenged. Some started doubting that the origin was not from Kutani region, but from Arita region, where is still one of the most important home of porcelains.  Fragments of a china plate with the similar style as Kutani were found in Arita region, while the fragments found in Kutani region were different from Kokutani in it style. After 1987, the development of scientific research methods could identify a type of clay, form and tone. The research results concluded that Kokutani ware could be made in the current Okayama region in 1640-1650, but similar style of fragments were recently found in Kutani area and the origin still remains as a mystery.

Its most outstanding characteristic is the multicolored ceramics painting. There are two different kinds of painting. One is called ‘Gosaite (五彩手)’, which is named from its characteristics of using five colors of red, yellow, green, purple and navy. Gaussian often draw beauty of nature, landscape, or people’s life. Its bold and well composed pictures create an exquisite harmony on white porcelain.

Gosaite

Via: 九谷焼百話

Another style is called ‘Aote(青手)’. It uses deep colours of green, yellow and purple but no use of red. Aote style paints an entire surface of a porcelain by the similar touch and rich colour of oil painting. The thickness of the paint gives a dynamic three-dimensional effect. It is as though birds and flowers drawn were about fly out of the porcelain.

Aote

via 一生一石:青手古九谷の謎

 

Sayonara Hotel Okura


The main building of Hotel Okura Tokyo will be demolished after its closing on Aug 31.

As I touched on it in my blog earlier, worldly well-known designers, architects and foreign media have been expressing regret and some are calling for saving for Hotel Okura, but our wish didn’t come true.

Bottega Veneta started a social media campaign,

#mymomentatokura,

where one could post photos expressing the moment felt/spent at Okura.

This campaign is driven by the appreciation of Tomas Maier, the Creative Director of Bottega Veneta toward the architectural aesthetics and the modernism that Okura holds.

http://www.bottegaveneta.com/ad/collection/tomas-maier-s-visit-to-japan_grd16891

I will drop by to embrace the last moment and say good-bye once again.

北斎 : Hokusai exhibition at Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Hokusai  

Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) was the first Japanese artist to be internationally recognized, and he continues to inspire artists around the world. 

The exhibition is running  during April 5, 2015 – August 9, 2015 at Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31)

http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/hokusai  

Museum of Fine Arts Boston is the home of the largest and finest collection of Japanese art  outside Japan.

或る列車:’Aru Ressha’ – TRAIN OF DREAMS?

Summer………hot and humid everyday……dreaming of vacation to get out of the heated Tokyo……..

Searching for a place to go that gives us a unique experience,  I came across an announcement of newly made train in Kyushu area (the most southwestern region of Japan). The train is called ‘Aru Ressha’. It is a weird name.  The direct translation could be like ‘One train’ or ‘a certain train’ but it doesn’t make any sense to me but sounds mysterious!?

The original design of this train was made in 1906. Kyushu railway company ordered a luxury passenger train from the J.G. Brill Company in the United States, but the train was soon to be abolished after the railway company was nationalized.

This dream train was introduced in a train specialized magazine long ago with the name of “Aru Ressha” Since then, this train has been called “Aru Ressha”.

The exterior design is modeled after the “Aru Ressha,” colored gold and black, and arranged with an arabesque design. Aru Ressha exterior

For the interior, it has classy design elements of a traditional coffered ceiling and muntin ornaments on the walls.

Aru Ressha Interior

Aru Ressha Interior 2

On the train, there is food menu prepared by Mr. Yoshihiro Narisawa, the owner chef of the renowned restaurant “NARISAWA” in Tokyo. The course stars with a box-packed sandwich and salad then continues with three sweets dishes made from a variety of seasonal fruits and tea cakes. The ingredients are picked from the Kyushu region.

Aru Ressha Menu by NARISAWA
There will be 1 round trip a day between Oita station and Hita station from 8th Aug. to 12th Oct., 2015. After autumn, there will be new line between Sasebo station and Nagasaki station, 1 round trip a day. For the detail operation, please visit their website here.

Kyushu map

Take the ‘A’ train!

Kimono Promotion Yields to Outrage at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts

Claude Monet's La Japonaise

From The New York Times:
A promotion in which visitors posed in a kimono before a Monet painting was recast after protests surfaced online.

The article is here.

The recent removal of Makoto Aida’s artwork “檄” from Museum of Contemporary Art is a similar case. The art is 6 meter long white banner hanging from the ceiling, where he expresses his opinion toward the Ministry of Education by the bold touch of brush.  There was only one claim to the museum to conclude with this decision.

tumblr_Makoko Aida

 

I would like to close this blog with a famous quote of Voltaire, a French philosopher:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”