Japan Foundation mounts ‘100 designs’ exhibit

Hiroshi Kashiwagi

Hiroshi Kashiwagi

Avant garde fashion designer Issey Miyake’s No. 1 Dress in all its gorgeously pleated glory; the finely crafted children’s Bentwood Cycle made of local beech wood; the seemingly floating air vase paper container — these three and 97 more will be showcased at Japanese Design Today 100, the traveling product exhibition proudly presented by the Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM), the Metropolitan Museum of Manila (MET) and the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, with support from JT International (Philippines) Inc. It will run at the Tall Galleries of MET from June 30 to August 19.

The exhibition was first organized by the Japan Foundation in 2004 and has been touring the world for the past 12 years. Its updated version features 100 of the finest examples of Japanese design with a focus on everyday products, 11 of which are postwar designs from 1950s to 1990s that had significant influence on the Japanese design of today. Product categories range from Furniture and Housewares to Healthcare; Apparel and Accessories to Transportation.

The design of household products serves as a mirror reflecting the hopes and dreams of the people who use them and the designers and companies who create them. “This exhibition can be approached as a case study of Japanese design or it can be enjoyed in a more casual way, as if taking a trip to a foreign country,” writes Hiroshi Kashiwagi, the exhibition’s chief curator, in the catalog foreword.

Kashiwagi is scheduled to hold a design dialogue at the MET on July 2 to discuss the diverse facets of Japanese product design. Architect Keiji Ashizawa of Ishinomaki Lab, whose designs are included in the exhibition under the Disaster Relief category, will hold a one-day design workshop on July 29 and a design dialogue with Plus63 Design Co.’s co-founder Dan Matutina on July 30, at the MET.

Japanese Design Today 100 will be on view alongside the parallel exhibition Conversations on Philippine Design at the Galeriya Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP Gallery) featuring stunning furniture and crafts by esteemed Filipino designers. The cultural dialogue through these exhibitions is timely, as 2016 marks the anniversary of the “60 Years of anniversary of friendship between Japan and the Philippines, as well as the 20th anniversary of the Japan Foundation, Manila.

For inquiries, call the Japan Foundation, Manila at landline numbers (02) 811-6156 to 58 or send a message to arts@jfmo.org.ph.

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila is located at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila. It is open Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


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