Art Laboratory January 15 2011

Dec 1, 2010 was a lucky day or fateful day, not sure which….who am I kidding? It’s usually a little of both. Visited my friend at her new digs in the best part of Tokyo...”Azabu”; more specifically Azabu-Juban. Azabu Juban is exactly the neighborhood of one of my all-time favorite stores “Blue & White”, founded and run by Ms. Amy Katoh. As we strolled over to the shop close to its closing, a spry, silver-haired woman passed us by…heading in the same direction. Although it had been several years since going to the store and seeing Ms. Katoh- I just knew it had to be her. Sure enough, there she was, when we entered the store. I had a brief- but-inspiring discussion with Amy, who pointed that it was her store's 35th anniversary. Since we were so close to Tokyo Midtown, she recommended we see a show at 2121 Design Sight at Tokyo Midtown; walking distance from Blue & White.

Amy thought I should see the exhibit mainly because of the paper lanterns. One mention of the mathematically-folded paper lanterns by Jun Mitani+WOW, "in the same vain as" Isamu Noguchi's lanterns, and I was ready to go. On the way to 2121 Design Sight my friend and I enjoyed the outdoor illumination display in front of Tokyo Midtown. Now, past sundown, luckily the gallery was still open.

To my pleasant surprise, the exhibit turned out to be so much more than paper lanterns! The exhibition was probably the most inspiring thing I've seen in years. Coordinated by none other than the clothing designer, Issey Miyake, with a group of collaborators from many different fields: earth science, geometry, textile manufacturing, recycling plants, sculptors, etc. The name of this exhibit is Issey Miyake Reality Lab . Mr. Miyake and associates have more than inspired me to breathe new life into the paper world.

Paper Psychology October 05 2010

No, this is not my latest take on being an ex-pat in Japan, nor any modern insight in culture clash trends for 2011. Rather, as I looked with fresh eyes at Itajime paper, I could not help but notice similarities to Rorshach tests. Is it just me? Or is it a self-fulfilling diagnosis? What do you see?

The paper of the month, perhaps?
To see more Itajime "Tests", click here. If you feel inspired, and you would like to try making your own Rorshach-like Itajime designs, contact Paper Connection; the perfect plain white paper for this project is in stock now.