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Erica « MAD Blog
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Posts by Erica

Having Fun at the Arts of Pacific Asia Show

IMAG0069

Last Thursday I treated myself to an hour of serious eye candy at the New York Arts of Pacific Asia Show as an end to a fun and frenzied Asia Week. Galleries from all over the world turned up to show off their wares from Japan, China, the Himalayan region and more to crowds of eager collectors and enthusiasts.

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A New Perspective on Tradition: Asia Week NY and MAD’s Beauty in All Things

Sukashi Crane tsuba

ttention, Japanese design lovers! If MAD's show Beauty in All Things has whet your appetite for more Japanese design, you're in for a treat: Asia Week New York is just around the corner!

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Springtime at MAD’s Beauty in All Things Show

Keisuke Mizuno, Forbidden Flower (Dark Orange), 2001

The Groundhog has reported six more weeks of winter, yet the weather outside often suggests spring is just around the corner! When looking at the art in MAD’s Beauty in All Things show, I immediately sought out the pieces whose qualities reminded me of springtime, both in material and mood.

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Focus on Japanese Craft: Raku Ware and the Aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi

Raku ware

Only in Japan would a cracked and slightly misshapen tea cup be seen as a symbol of the nation’s cultural and aesthetic legacy. These works are known commonly as Raku ware, due to the firing process and its traditional ties to the Japanese tea ceremony.

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Highlighting Japanese Fashion: Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, and Rei Kuwakubo (Part Two)

Rei for H&M 2

For this post, I will discuss the fabulous Rei Kuwabuko, the name behind the Commes des Garcons house for over 40 years! Kuwabuko’s work is less about color and patterns (a consistent theme with these three designers is the prevalence of black), and more about the subversion of the garment: her work is often asymmetrical, unfinished and often startlingly malformed.

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Highlighting Japanese Fashion: Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, and Rei Kuwakubo (Part 1)

miyake black

"Beauty in All Things" is an important concept for designers who create beauty that can be worn, such as fashion innovators Issey Miyake (b.1938), Yohji Yamamoto (b.1943) and Rei Kuwakubo (b.1942). These three designers all grew up in the immediate post-war landscape, where the transition from traditional artistry to technological manufacturing was keenly observed. As a result, their clothing challenges the limits of each method of production, creating a modernist hybridized form that simultaneously references and subverts these methods.

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The Unexpected Edge: Yugen in Contemporary Art at Cavin-Morris Gallery

Bleem

Yugen is broadly defined as a Japanese aesthetic of Mysterious Beauty, encompassing an emotional response to beauty that cannot be conventionally articulated.

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Talking Clay: Remembering Artist Toshiko Takaezu

A selection of 'Moon' pots and 'Closed Form' vessels

Not all of the artists in “Beauty in All Things” are Japanese: some are Americans of Japanese heritage. We chose them to show the continuation of interest in Japanese aesthetics that go beyond geography. One of the most important and famous of these artists is Toshiko Takaezu.

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Fiber Art in Beauty in All Things

Arai scarf

Perhaps the most exciting area of Japanese design today is Fiber Arts, mixing traditional weaving techniques with skilled innovation and imagination. See the energy and vigor of the textile works on view in Beauty in All Things.

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The Energy of Paper

Fiber Landscape Painting, from Paper Samples, 2001. Mulberry and chemical dyes.

Remember that project in elementary school where you made paper out of gluey pulp and let it dry? For most of us, that’s the extent of seeing paper as anything near to art. This is not the case for Japanese artist Yoshio Ikezaki, who has made a career out of creating stunning pieces of paper using unusual materials and innovative techniques. 

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