Two cultures collide as Japan's ancient art of Washi paper-making is showcased in London's East End
BY DEE IVA
We may be part of the digital age but there's something about paper that still fascinates us. Origami, paper engineering and even paper furniture all have us under their spell.
Now a special exhibition showcasing the art of Japanese Mino Washi paper has landed at canalside gallery/café The Proud Archivist in East London, exploring the traditional methods used to make this wonderfully versatile material and its contemporary design applications. Since the eighth century, Washi has been made in Mino in Gifu, central Japan, to create room dividers, wall hangings and lanterns. American talent Isamu Noguchi's iconic 'Akari' lights, inspired by the ones used on old Japanese fishing boats, are on show here along with up-to-date designs from Swiss studio Atelier Oï and must-have accessories such as Thomas Merlo's decorative snowflakes or Furukawa Shiko's beautifully illustrated cards and notelets.
ABOVE: Isamu Noguchi's evocative 'Akari' paper lanterns
ABOVE RIGHT: 'Winter Wonderland' window decorations by Thomas Merlo
BELOW: Furukawa Shiko's colourful notelets
The exhibition was curated by Southbank Japanese design and craft store Wagumi, so if you need some smart ideas for your Christmas gift list we guarantee you'll find style-savvy goodies in The Proud Archivist's dedicated shopping zone. Tanoshimimasu!
'Mino Washi Paper from Gifu, Japan' is on now until 13 November 2015 at The Proud Archivist, 2-10 Hertford Road, London N1, just off Kingsland Road beside Regent's Canal