Contemporary craft meets Japanese tradition in a new exhibition from Wagumi at The Proud Archivist, Mino Washi from Gifu. The exhibition presents a rare opportunity to encounter this incredible material, which has been made in Mino – a town in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan – since the 8th century, and to explore one of the purest and most timeless expressions of craftsmanship in design. Exhibitors from across the world will present their designs, all of which showcase the versatility and beauty of Mino washi paper.
The techniques used to make Mino washi are unique – the bark of the Kozo mulberry tree is boiled down to its white skin, and delicately processed into a soft paper of exceptional quality without the use of chemicals, before being dried using a method that dates back to ancient times. With its 1300 year history, the material remains at the heart of Japanese art, design and craft, commonly being used for room partitions, art canvases, hangings and letter paper.
In the last 60 years, Mino washi was popularised by the Akari lamp designs of American-Japanese artist Isamu Noguchi, which will be on display in the exhibition. Inspired by the lanterns used on Gifu fishing boats and the paper made upstream in Mino, Noguchi’s designs are a modern representation of the classic light, with the washi ambiance of Japanese living quarters.
Together with Noguchi, the exhibition will include works by a number of other artists and designers, including Swiss design studio Atelier Oï. Visitors to the exhibition on 3 November will also get a unique opportunity to get hands on with this ancient material in a series of interactive workshops.
Mino Washi from Gifu, an exhibition of Japanese washi paper
3–13 November 2015
The Proud Archivist, 2-10 Hertford Road, London, N1 5SH