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When visitors dropped by Francfranc Forest in Omotesando during the Designart fair in Tokyo last October, many couldn’t help but linger at a mesmerizing array of delicate white geometric shapes. As they marveled at the suspended forms and the ethereal shadows they cast, the designer, Baku Sakashita, stepped over to shed more light on the spectacle. The subtly swaying installations were not merely decorative, he explained; they were, in fact, lamps, lit from above by tiny lights in discreet brass fittings.

This Suki series of lights, he told visitors, was a reverent deconstruction of Akari lamps, a famous work of Isamu Noguchi, one of the forefathers of contemporary Japanese design. In Sakashita’s re-interpretation, Noguchi’s large washi (Japanese paper) 3D forms become small translucent circles and squares, his bamboo frames are alluded to by thread-like wire, and instead of emitting a glow from within, LEDs illuminate the Suki works externally.

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