DESIGN IN JAPAN: FROM TRADITION TO HIGHEST MODERN CREATIONS
The Japanese archipelago confronted to cataclysms, divisions, war conflicts, and catastrophes popped up into history with some delay. The Japanese development cycle starts with the atomic bombs thrown on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Completely or partially destroyed, Japanese cities quickly recovered and the fatherland of Emperor Hirohito soon became an industrial giant. The land that has for a long time been an inspiration for European artistic adventurers and art collectors offering them it´s artistic treasures and traditions commonly and universally named “Japanism”. Japanism has been feeding for years many French, Dutch, British impressionists and collectors and made Europe discover the big secret and wealth of Japanese archaic art. During two centuries, between 1603 and 1868, the so called Edo period, Japan developed a specific political system isolating the country from the rest of the world. The Edo period was created by the shogun Tokugawa in 1603, who established the capital of his government in Edo, the old name of Tokyo. Tokugawa and his dynasty over 15 generations guaranteed peace to the citizens in spite of the fact that his regime was considered as feudal and authoritarian. Nevertheless, it was also the most important period for Japanese art, a period when most of the best artistic creations were realized. The best known artist from that period is Hokusai, followed by many others such as Yakashu, Rosetsu, Hoitsu, Utamaro, Utagawa, and Hiroshige. Through any detail, any creation, any tradition, any ceremony, one could see the overwhelming presence of art, the beauty of colours and fantasy, the presence of gods and the richness of hand-made ceramics, wooden lacquers, designed bamboo items, printed posters on paper, textile, wood, origami, calligraphies. This study is analysing the relation between art and Japanese traditional ceremonies, such as the tea ceremony, the origami tradition, the bonsai art. It might be seen as absurd at first sight, but precisely the tea ceremony or better said the tea philosophy, has been the inspiration of many artists in their interpretation of interior design, including furniture, tea cups, wardrobe, calligraphies, etc.
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