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This is a very beautiful book on Japanese design that we offer Phaidon editions with Wa: the essence of Japanese design , written by two specialists in Japanese art, design and culture, Rosella Menegazzo and Stéfania Piotti. When we hear "Japanese design", we think: minimalism, purity and simplicity. If they cover a reality for Japanese design, these words are not enough. Fortunately, Phaidon editions publish a very beautiful book,Wa: the essence of Japanese design , to satisfy our curiosity. Just under 300 pages for this first introduction - which is not written in Japanese - to design made in Japan, its origins, its philosophy. Exploration in words and images - the iconography of this book written in English is rich.
In her introductory essay, Kenya Haraa - who is none other than the artistic director of Muji - highlights the fact that it is in the light of the concept of "Wa" - a character that designates peace, harmony, Japan and Japanese culture - that a number of things then become obvious. "Wa" refers to the simple form, to the natural material but also to an approach to crafts and the art of living in general. Kenya Hara finds the spiritual roots of Japanese design in the 1400s and does not fail to make the link between the evolution of "wa" and the influence of Zen Buddhism.
Over the centuries, over objects, from the 18th century lacquered wood kitchen service to the 20th century acrylic vases, we discover the importance of simplicity and emptiness in Japanese design.
Not to mention the fact that this book is in itself a very beautiful object, kraft paper and cover that evokes traditional lacquer. WA The Essence of Japanese Design , by Rossella Managazzo and Stefania Piotti, € 69.95, ed. Phaidon, www.phaidon.com