MONO JAPAN Japanese Craft & Design Fair 2022
Our New Relationship with Craft Making
MONO JAPAN finally returns to Amsterdam this September!
Our theme this time around is “Post-Pandemic Craft: Our New Relationship with Craft Making”. The content selected is conscious of our post-pandemic reality, allowing us to relax and consider the future of our relationship with objects. Immerse yourself in the true value of objects by watching art, learning about craft manufacturing techniques. You can even take part in craft making yourself at various workshops. The venue will also be serving-up delicious Japanese food to enhance this authentic experience.
The pandemic has had a major impact on our lives and the economy in the last few years and there are many people who have changed their feelings about things they purchase and consume.
Some of the changes we’ve noticed:
The things we wanted to buy were changing before the pandemic and continued.
We started to buy everything online.
Obtaining things from all over the world became easier thanks to the Internet.
We came to value more local products.
We became more interested in making and fixing things ourselves.
Our desire for higher-quality items increased.
We noticed changes in the voices of local people in the Netherlands, information from the media, and our own real-world experience as an organisation involved in manufacturing. Wherever you look the trends are clearly changing. The popularity and convenience of online shopping is increasing, making products from around the world easier to buy than ever.
On the other hand, with the word “sustainability” becoming commonplace you see changes to the contrary as well: Fewer young people are buying brand new clothes (preferring instead second-hand and vintage); various sharing services are being created; transportation and logistic problems are encouraging people to buy more local products.
These are just a few of the many changes to the way we consume and what we now pay attention to.
Like so many events around the world during the two-years-plus of the pandemic, MONO JAPAN’s annual exhibitions and markets were cancelled. In 2022, we were once again able to hold events and receive guests from overseas to the Netherlands. Despite those improvements, there are still many challenges: strict immigration restrictions, the continued concerns of the lingering pandemic, and the tragic ongoing war in Ukraine. Adding to these challenges are the depreciation of the Japanese yen and strict travel restrictions to-and-from Japan.
At this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the term “de-globalisation” was highlighted. We are also witnessing the limitations and risks of “over-globalisation” as seen in the shortage of daily necessities and soaring prices due to the effects of the pandemic and the war.
MONO JAPAN is intimately involved in Japanese craft making. In response to the pandemic and current changes, we decided to reconsider our relationship with objects around us and with ourselves. We wanted to consider what Japanese craft making should be going forward.
Exhibition / Market
Despite the difficult travel situation, Japanese exhibitors will travel from Japan to join us in the Netherlands. We’ll also have local Dutch and Japanese brands and makers joining us for the event. Each will be exhibiting and selling their unique products in person. These three days will be a chance to experience MONO JAPAN’s motto “Buy things directly from the makers”. You’ll have a chance to meet Japanese craft makers and learn about their unique manufacturing techniques. You will be able to see the “relationship between objects and ourselves” from a different perspective than we typically experience in the Netherlands.
Dutch x Japanese Creative Collaboration Exhibition
This exhibition introduces the culmination of the two Dutch x Japanese creative collaborations carried out with MONO JAPAN AIR from 2019-to-2021, as well as new initiatives from past collaborations. We asked ourselves: What is the potential of introducing Dutch creators to various materials and traditional Japanese crafts that transcend the boundaries of art and design? What do people feel and why do they want to be involved in the traditional craft industry, despite its apparent inefficiency?
MONO JAPAN believes that art is one of the end results of great crafts. When we witness the work of a craftsperson, we feel the strength and magnetic force that creates the artwork. When traditional materials combine with the sincere work and skill of Japanese craftspeople, the resulting items can be sublimated into unique works of art. We will introduce this happy marriage of craftsmanship and art to all our guests at the MONO JAPAN venue.
Experience-Based Event: Experience the Craftsmanship
During the pandemic disaster, we reconsidered the importance of our living spaces and everyday items. This craft making experience will inspire a newfound respect for the products made and for the sincerity of the craftsmanship. We hope it leads to changes in the relationships and possibilities for the precious objects that surround us. MONO JAPAN 2022 will feature workshops with MONO JAPAN-certified masters from Japan and the Netherlands who will share their knowledge and awareness with attendees.
The Story of Objects, Words, and People
As always, all the lectures held at the MONO JAPAN venue this year will be free. Don’t miss the exclusive talks from experts and creators about traditional Japanese crafts, techniques, and materials. This is a rare chance for a Dutch audience to experience Japanese craftsmanship and knowledge first-hand in The Netherlands.
This is a contribution article written by MONO JAPAN FOUNDATION.
Campaign Visual by Johan Kleinjan