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"Japan" Tag

Where is the Tradition?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Choosing a book using the three words from the previous post was a tricky task, whenever I thought I had found a suitable solution, it failed on one of the criteria. This time I had to take more care and consideration in looking at every book individually. But as one of my key words was ‘small’ I started looking only at small books, but with no luck, so I decided to jump to the other end of the spectrum and only look at the oversized books.

Then I came across a book on Japanese prints. Japanese art is something that I have always for interesting but I know very little about it. The traditions are so different to those of the western world that I find a lot of it very hard to access. This book fails in all the areas the last book succeeded, It is made from this horrible shiny card which is almost sticky to the touch. It is bound just like 99% of the other books, it all looks a bit cheap in the end. But the one area where it is successful, unlike the previous book, is the content. The collection of prints are really intriguing, mostly black and white. Also included in the book is a lot of Chinese calligraphy, which obviously is very unclear for me, but nonetheless it as a certain elegance that is unique to the Asian aesthetic. But I can’t help but think that this book would be so much more successful had it been bound with the Japanese traditions, it would just make sense.

Rietveld Library 1058

Inside the egg

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I was searching for gold.

1988, the year before I was born.

I was searching for something that I could take a look at, pick up and say

“Yes, here is it. I’ve found it.”

Something to put on a shelf, inside of glass, something to be fragile and beautiful.
Or maybe heavy and beautiful at the same time. Like rococo is heavy. Or baroque.
Heavy beauty, when something is meant to be admired.
Money and gold. This thing with power.

When I was 8 years old my mother and my grandmother took me to see the exhibition of the famous Russian Fabergé eggs.
This exhibition got stuck in my memory somehow.

I remember the big rooms.
I remember the whiteness of the walls.
I remember the small glass cages where the most delicate, fragile things were put.
I remember my grandmother, my mother and me getting lost in the whiteness and all the beauty.
Like small animals in a bigger picture, circling around.

Then there were the eggs.
They were made of gold, silver, glass and something that almost seemed like air.
They were magical and impossible to touch.

Maybe it is also about this fascination with the exotic.
Beautiful creations, very far away from my reality.
This idea of something up there in the sky, out of reach.

Lately I have developed this fascination with Japan.
I don’t know what started it, maybe it was my friend who is obsessed with Japan.
Maybe it was just to have a fantasy about something.
I think about their delicate manners. I think about their delicate objects.
I see their patterns in design and art and I don’t understand them but I like it.
I look at Hentai porn, anime and all these crazy comic live shows and I am fascinated.

It is this idea of something, of a country, a people.
I construct it in my head.

I feel somehow that it is the same distance from me to Japan as from the jewelry eggs of Fabergé to me through those glass boxes where they were kept.

Rietveld Library


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hij staat er niet bij, wel zijn er heel veel boeken over Japans Design. Ik keek in alle boeken. In alle verschillende boeken stonden goeie overzichten van wat er allemaal uit Japan komt. Het begon meestal bij traditionele Japanse kunst wat langzaam overloopt in design. Het is een overgang van mensen die eerst voor zichzelf iets maakte wat later veranderd in mensen die allemaal onder één naam product maken. In het boek Japans Design zie je deze overgang heel goed weergegeven. Het is super om te zien hoe veel er wel niet in Japan wordt geproduceerd. Japan is zover weg en we hebben hier zoveel uit dat land en dat is wat mij fascineert. 772.5-spa-1

keyword: beeld

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