SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce The Mingei, a group show curated by Nicolas Trembley, featuring Japanese crafts, prints, design and publications from Oct 9 – Nov 15, 2020. Artworks and products presented in cooperation with Gallery Kojima, KOMIYAMA TOKYO, Kurodatoen, LYAN ARTS' COLLECTION, Shikama Fine Arts, as well as collectors Terry Ellis & Keiko Kitamura and Masamitsu Saito.
This exhibition explores the presence and legacy of Mingei—the Japanese Folk Craft Movement founded in the late 1920s by philosopher and critic Soetsu Yanagi. Based on handcrafted art, the movement originally finds beauty in everyday ordinary and utilitarian objects created by nameless and unknown craftsmen. Yanagi has a core concern for the functional qualities of objects, which he described as an 'honesty with regards to their intended use', leading to the well-known expression of 'YOnoBI' or functional beauty. Perceived through intuition, the inherent beauty of Mingei arts can be enjoyed by all walks of life.
The Mingei borrows its title from the magazine published since 1952. A selection of copies will be presented in the exhibition alongside with Kogei magazines published by the Japan Folk Craft Association (Nihon Mingei Kyokai) from 1931 until 1951, which are designed by Keisuke Serizawa with illustrations by Shiko Munakata. Both publications served as significant channels to engage the public in the Mingei philosophy.
Besides vintage magazines, SHOP will also display historic pieces from Joseon Dynasty and master ceramicists including Shoji Hamada, Kanjiro Kawai and Bernard Leach, along works produced by contemporary potters for the design and craft brand Fennica in Tokyo, as well as the 'Keramikos project (2012 – 2013) by artists Matthew Lutz-Kinoy and Natsuko Uchino. Antiques from Okinawa and Hokkaido will dialogue with contemporary designers such as Sori Yanagi, and will be exhibited on a long shelf running on the walls. A selection of posters and books related to the Mingei Movement, vintage and new, with a special poster produced by the experimental graphic design group Norm will be on view and available for purchase.
Press release courtesy SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery.