LOS ANGELES – Oct 9, 2019 – JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles and D&DEPARTMENT PROJECT are proud to present “JAPAN 47 ARTISANS,” an exhibition that explores the diversity of Japanese craft traditions through the eyes of contemporary designers representing each of Japan’s 47 prefectures. The exhibition will be on view from October 30 through January 5.
Each of Japan’s 47 prefectures has its own history, ecology, and regional flavor, leading to unique craft heritage across the nation, from the lacquerware of Iwate to the woodworking of Okayama. These artisanal forms evolved over centuries to be beautiful, useful, and sustainable – qualities essential to design practice today.
This eclectic craft heritage is an inspiration to D&DEPARTMENT PROJECT, a design studio founded by Kenmei Nagaoka that prizes “Long-Life Design” and focuses on presenting the design, products, customs, and identities of Japan’s 47 prefectures. Through “d47,” a hybrid museum, shop, and restaurant in Tokyo’s Shibuya district, and other initiatives across the nation, D&DEPARTMENT showcases the kaleidoscope of these prefectures, and the way contemporary designers engage with them.
For the traveling exhibition “JAPAN 47 ARTISANS,” D&DEPARTMENT has curated works by 47 young artisans selected from each prefecture who bring a fresh twist to the traditional crafts of their hometown. Some are continuing a long family lineage – such as Maki Morisawa, a 4th-generation paper artisan (tosa washi) from Kochi Prefecture, who learned her techniques from her grandmother. Others are trying to innovate by demystifying their practice – like Iwate Prefecture’s Jun Tashiro, who wants to make lacquerware more fun and accessible for the public. All are bringing to life their craft heritage for today and tomorrow.
The entire second floor of JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles will become a hub for exploring dynamic prefectural design, through the unique curation of D&DEPARTMENT. The key exhibition will be on view in the main gallery, allowing visitors a leisurely “tour” through 47 artisans’ works and the prefectures they represent, encountering the rich individuality and distinct culture of these creators and their home regions. The front gallery will showcase the expanded work of D&DEPARTMENT supporting the concept of Long-Life Design across multiple platforms in Japan and beyond. A mini pop-up will introduce their philosophy through selected travel products, culinary innovations, books, and more.
Through this thoughtfully curated project, visitors will experience the diversity of a nation’s design heritage, as well as the vibrant energy of Japan’s contemporary craft scene as a whole. In today’s rapidly changing world, “JAPAN 47 ARTISANS” seeks to inspire us all to adopt the principles of “Long-Life Design,” creating a better life through enduring and meaningful design.
ABOUT JAPAN HOUSE
JAPAN HOUSE is an innovative, worldwide project with three hubs, London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, conceived by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It seeks to nurture a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japan in the international community. JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles occupies two floors at Hollywood & Highland. The 2nd floor features a gallery space and the 5th floor hosts a Japanese restaurant, relaxing library, and event venue, along with spectacular views of Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles. JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles offers a place of new discovery that transcends the physical and conceptual boundaries creating experiences that reflect the best of Japan through its spaces and diverse programs.
Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
Established in 2000, D&DEPARTMENT PROJECT is an activist-style organization operating stores, restaurants, and a museum rooted in the concept of Long-Life Design. There are currently 12 locations in Japan and abroad. While establishing connections within each of the 47 prefectures individually, D&DEPARTMENT researches and introduces the enduring local designs and the essence of all regions of Japan through a variety of platforms, including retail sales, food and beverages, publishing, and tourism.