Gifu Prefecture in Japan presents its first UK exhibition of Japanese Mino washi paper at The Proud Archivist, London, running until 13 November 2015.
The exhibition displays some of the finest contemporary uses of Mino washi paper, whilst exploring the tradition and craft of this classic Japanese material. Japanese washi paper has been made in Mino since the 8th Century. Mino is in Gifu Prefecture located in central Japan, where clear river water flows through the town and is used to wash the bark of mulberry trees. This is the foundation element of making Mino washi paper, and in 2014, the paper making techniques were added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
The techniques used to make Mino washi are unique, and the paper produced retains an essential place in Japanese art and design. The paper is commonly used for room partitions, art canvases, hangings and letter paper. More than anything, Mino washi diffuses light and interacts with shadows from the lighting of Japanese homes.
A unique material with a 1,300 year history, Mino washi has been popularised by the Akari lamp designs of American-Japanese artist Isamu Noguchi in the last 60 years. Inspired by the lanterns used on Gifu fishing boats, and the paper made upstream in Mino, Noguchi’s designs were a modern representation of the classic light with the washi ambiance of Japanese living quarters.
Together with Noguchi, the exhibition includes works by Swiss design studio Atelier Oï among others. Paper products are also available to purchase on site throughout the exhibition period.
‘Mino Washi from Gifu’ provides an opportunity to encounter one of the purest and most timeless expressions of craftsmanship in design – a material that has remained through the ages, and a tradition that is very much alive today.
‘Mino Washi from Gifu’ is at The Proud Archivist, by Regent’s Canal, access via Kingsland Bridge E8 4DD, until 13 November 2015. Monday-Sunday 8am-10.30pm.
For more information on the exhibition please contact the event partner Wagumi, a design shop produced by Lives Inc from Japan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Wagumi is based in the Oxo Tower on London’s Southbank (www.wagumi-j.com).
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