Art / Openings In Tokyo

'Mingei: Another Kind of Art'

by Yukari Tanaka

21_21 DESIGN SIGHT

Nov. 2-Feb. 24

In 1925, the Japanese philosopher Muneyoshi Yanagi (1889-1961) coined the term “mingei” to refer to folk arts and crafts that involved high levels of skill but were made by unknown craftspeople. Being created from local materials, made in traditional colors and involving long-established manufacturing processes, such works reflect the customs of various regions in Japan. Yet the crafts have also gradually and imaginatively evolved as skills have been passed down for generations.

Directed by Naoto Fukasawa, a product designer and director of The Japan Folk Crafts Museum, “Another Kind of Art” brings together 150 new and old mingei pieces, accompanied by videos of production processes and interviews with creators. Also included are photographs of other works and rare mingei-related documents dating back to the establishment of the Folk Crafts Museum during the 1930s.

21_21 Design Sight; Tokyo Midtown Garden, 9-7-6 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Roppongi Stn. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. ¥1,100. Closed Tue. 03-3475-2121; www.2121designsight.jp