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The exhibition, “The Boundary between Craft and Design” EVENT REPORT

Published : November 1, 2016
Production area : Kanazawa
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Hi, I’m Yumika.
On this “EVENT REPORT”, we step out to the craft event venues all around Japan and report its charm. This time, we report the exhibition, “The Boundary between Craft and Design” which is being held at “21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art”.

The museum turned its 10th anniversary in 2014 and it’s been holding three years’ long exhibition. The theme of the exhibition for the final year of 2016 is “Craft” or “Kogei” in Japanese, succeeded by “Architecture” for 2014 and “Contemporary Art” for 2015. Having a product designer Mr.Naoto Fukazawa, they will reexamine the existing designs from a new perspective which was untried before.

Whether craft or design. Craft and design is the same in the meaning of manufacturing but categorized as different one. However, it’s needless to take a closer look, the boundary between them seems vague. There seems design-oriented craft and craft-oriented design as well.(From the exhibition summery)

For example, whether the butterfly stool designed by Mr. Sori Yanagi is a craft or design? Many people might not be able to answer right away. They try to draw a clear line on this obscure boundary in this exhibition.About 75 products of every genre are displayed such as Waraji or straw sandal, Japanese cypress bath, tea canister, stone fence, lacquer ware, sneaker, bag, smart phone, PC, car, and so on. They will appreciate these products again through different view points of “Process and Material”, “Shape”, and “Aging degradation”, and try to make the boundary revealed.

“It’s difficult to draw a clear line to divide craft and design. I guess it may be reasonable to say like this, “This is 20% of craft and 80% of design.”

“It’s difficult to draw a clear line to divide craft and design. I guess it may be reasonable to say like this, “This is 20% of craft and 80% of design.”
That’s Mr. Fukazawa’s way to explain the boundary between craft and design.
But not every interpretation sits well soon at a glance. Sometimes different interpretation of ours makes us upside down. But in-depth caption leads us to his intent. The bigger the difference is, the more it will be eye-opener. That may be a gimmick by Mr. Fukazawa, who says, “To make viewers confused does count.”

There is one exhibition room that products are displayed just on the boundary.
50% design and 50% craft, I guess.
But the direction of the display has some intent.
Please come and see them for yourself.

Writer and Photographer: Yumika Nishikido
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