Synopses & Reviews
The movement to bring contemporary sensibilities to Japan's traditional crafts-in stunning photographs and inspiring words.
Inspired Shapes is the first book to showcase the work of today's innovative Japanese craftspeople who are striving to keep their crafts viable, yet compatible with modern lifestyles and aesthetics. Author Ori Koyama searched throughout Japan to find the artists and works most representative of the movement. What she found was truly inspiring:
craftspeople, young and old, male and female, embracing the challenge of bringing new ideas and ways of thinking into harmony with tradition-often with startling results. They work in bamboo, glass, wood, paper, lacquer, metal, textiles, grasses, vines and earth. The one thing they all share is their commitment to their work.
The book is organized by medium: each section discusses a specific material and its relationship to Japanese tradition. The works themselves are presented in exquisite photographs by Mizuho Kuwata and complemented by illuminating descriptions and explanations, often in the words of the artists themselves.
Inspired Shapes is not only a book about design, but a book about heritage and creativity. It celebrates fine workmanship, vibrant life and the need for both tradition and change.
Knife and Fork
Wood Grain Writing Paper
Paper Coil Bowl
"Author Koyama collects representative examples of Japan's current arts and crafts movement in this stylish collection of meticulous workmanship. Organized by medium, Koyama gives a brief overview of the significance of a particular material-bamboo, metal, textiles, wood-in Japanese culture and highlights key pieces, focusing on utilitarian items (although tapestries and a whimsical pop-art sake set also work their way in) such as stacking dinner boxes, screens, trays, mats and sake servers that, though steeped in tradition, have been retooled, updated or otherwise influenced by modern needs and sensibilities. Beautiful in and of themselves, many of the works are made even more stunning by photographer Kuwata, whose use of close ups and unique angles allow the reader to get a much better feel for the craftsmanship of each piece. Koyama has also included biographies and contact information for each of the featured artists, presumably so readers can acquire a work for themselves, but some may conclude this is a dressed-up catalog." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This volume showcases the work of today's innovative Japanese craftspeople who are striving to keep their crafts viable, yet compatible with modern lifestyles and aesthetics.
About the Author
ORI KOYAMA is the preeminent interior dï¿½cor stylist focusing on Japanese traditional arts and crafts and their place in the culture and society. She is the author of six books and has worked for magazines, department stores, art galleries and advertising campaigns.
Yokohama-born MIZUHO KUWATA is a graduate of Tama Arts University, whose photographic themes are the city of Tokyo and Japanese culture. This is his first book project.