MONO JAPAN Artist in Residence Program 2019

| published by MONO MAKERS MEET

MONO JAPAN Artist in Residence program is a new venture of MONO JAPAN to promote cultural collaborations between Japanese craftsmanship and Dutch creative designers. Our aim is to become a platform for the ‘special chemistry’ between Dutch creators and Japanese traditional craftsmen, which will contribute to the visibility of Dutch design in the Japanese cultural sector and vice versa.

Corresponding to our idea, three Japanese craft makers producing products with traditional techniques have committed themselves to work with Mono Japan in this program: Aizu Shikki, who makes lacquerware in Fukushima; Sekishu Washi, who makes handmade washi paper in Shimane; and Yoshida Shingi Shozoku, who makes Shinto priest costumes in Kyoto. The program has been made possible with generous contributions of Stimuleringsfonds, Embassy of the Netherlands in Tokyo and Gemeente Amsterdam. 

We made an open call to the creatives based in the Netherlands from October 2018 for 2 months and received many applications. Later two evaluations had been organized, and eventually, three designers were selected for each location: Pao Hui Kao (Aizu Shikki), Jonas Althaus (Sekishu Washi) and Maryam Kordbacheh (Yoshida Shingi Shozoku). After several long-distance discussions among the designers and craftsmen, designers flew to Japan and started two months of residency at the beginning of June 2019. During the residency period, each designer had a thorough introduction including some excursions organized by each craftsman. Getting first-hand experience with the Japanese craftsmanship, designers had developed new products in the workspace provided by the craftsmen.

Through these intense collaborations, a great number of innovative results emerged. From now onwards, each craftsman, designer and MONO JAPAN will cooperate with one another and finalize the commercialization process of the products. By refining the details of the design and quality, each party will contribute further to the commercialization of the product. As a result, the final products are planned to be commercially available at the upcoming MONO JAPAN FAIR.

Photo by Jonas Althaus

This is a contribution article from MJ AIR 2019 program.


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