Category: Living Arts


Sept.22

Ikebana: Natural Harmony on Mazda Stories by Steve Beimel

Sept.22

She is Mazda Colour and Trim Designer Mai Utagawa. He is ikebana artist Mario Hirama. In a perfectly proportioned, uncluttered corner room in a post-and-beam house built with wood joinery in the hills of Kobe, Japan, the two have come together to explore the concept of space as they create an ikebana flower arrangement. Soft…

Aug.31

Honma Hideaki Show at Tai Modern Gallery in Santa Fe

Aug.31

This solo exhibition commemorates Honma Hideaki’s 35th year as an artist. Born in 1959, Honma is his generation’s leading sculptor in bamboo art. Honma Hideaki’s uncle, the pioneering bamboo artist Honma Kazuaki, had no children, so he adopted Hideaki (who loved to draw and work with his hands) as his son, student, and heir to the family’s…

Aug.23

The Making of a Japanese Candle

Aug.23 candle haze warosoku wax

Japanese candles are not made of beeswax or paraffin like Western candles; they are made from a unique fat pressed from the seeds of a tree that today is grown mainly in Kyushu and on Shikoku. Japanese candles — called warōsoku —are different in almost every way, including how the wick is constructed and how…

Aug.12

Homeward Bound: Ukiyo-e, Japonisme, and Cultural Integration by MutualArt

Aug.12

The West was quick to integrate Japanese techniques into its culture, adapting it to its own worldview, while the Japanese are still reserved about integrating the West unquestioningly. “Homeward bound! / Beneath the light of the moon / the Ohara maidens / rest their heavy burden / in the shade of flowers.” This is the…

Aug.06

Handmade in Japan by Irwin Wong (reviewed by The Japan Society)

Aug.06

If like me you have an appetite for exploring all things related to Japanese design and crafts, Irwin Wong’s introduction to Handmade in Japan will surely prompt you to investigate further. Wong is a well-known commercial photographer based in Tokyo, so on the book’s announcement I knew it would be filled with evocative images of Japan and…

July.30

10 Things to Know about Kutaniyaki Japanese Ceramics by Japan Objects

July.30

Japanese ceramics are highly sought-after by pottery lovers everywhere. One of the many reasons for their enduring popularity is the sheer variety of ceramic art in Japan, with almost every region producing their own specialized works (see our A-Z guide for more). Kutaniware, or kutaniyaki, is one of the most fascinating. What’s so special about…

July.12

Maki Aizawa and the hidden art of kimono-making by the Sonoma Index-Tribune

July.12

Textiles artist Maki Aizawa’s original line of kimono-inspired jackets are featured in the prestigious Santa Fe International Folk Arts festival this month. She’s humbled to be sharing kimono-making techniques which she applies to the modern-designed jackets, her way of giving visibility to what she describes as “a dying art form.” But despite designing and sewing…

July.10

The bawdy world of kabuki theatre by Apollo Magazine

July.10

From the February 2022 issue of Apollo. Preview and subscribe here. About 400 years ago, the first sparks of a new art-form could have been seen just five minutes’ walk from where I now sit writing in Kyoto. The date was almost certainly 1603, though it is not clearly recorded. It was probably a blazing…

July.08

As Japan’s borders reopen, Pico Iyer returns to a magical island of art by the Financial Times

July.08

The long-awaited lifting of the ban on foreign tourists coincides with the launch of striking new works — and a new hotel — on Naoshima Island. Just in front of the Park building of Benesse House, the sleek and art-filled hotel-cum-museum at the heart of Japan’s Naoshima Art Site, I spot something new. A transparent…

June.25

Kurotani, the Home of Washi Paper by Pen

June.25

A kind of traditional Japanese paper known for its quality, delicacy and resistance, washi paper has its noble origins in the village of Kurotani, where this unique craft has been honed and developed since 1593. While the production of washi paper originates from China, the manual manufacturing technique was brought to Japan by Buddhist monks in around 610….