Zen-Mood Space found at SORAMITSU, Nara -shop visit -

What does Zen-Chic Style look like?  If someone asks me that question I would show the pictures of Soramitsu, a shop for "THE ARTS & CRAFTS made in Japan," located in the quiet town of Takabatake, Nara.   Traditional tools and craft works by Japanese modern artists are displayed by exquisite sense of spacing (called "Ma" in Japanese)  in the rooms of old Japanese style house where visitors are given the breeze of nostalgia- maybe for someone the place reminds of grand mom's home.  Carefully displayed pieces look proud to be 'only-one' for someone to be picked and brought to his or her home.  Yes, to Home.  The concept of Soramitsu products I can capture; hand made craft works are meant for everyday use and that way they can live the most and enhance their beauty.

Easily missed and passed by.  The place is hidden in a maze of narrow paths of beautiful town of Takabatake.  

Entrance space of Soramitsu where welcoming flowers always show visitors the present season.

"Tomorrow for Each" Exhibition (Mar.1st - 10th, 2013) was open on my visit.
Works of 4 young ceramic artists of Kasama and Mashiko village ( both are famous for Japanese ceramic craft production) displayed.  The villages experienced the Earthquake of Tohoku Region in 2011 and struggled by its after effect.  Some artists had to leave their working ateliers.  (Left) The message from the 4 exhibiting artists: Tetsuo Kuwahara, Yuzuru Harada (from Kasama), Takehiro Ito and Minoru Suzuki (from Mashiko) who had decided  to stay in their villages.  The words read; Hope for Tomorrow -of each artist and the villages and for their ceramic production to bring happiness to many people's tables.

Left: Traditional Japanese Cleaning tools on wall giving the sense of Home.
Right: White tableware beautifully spaced, free to touch and feel its texture.

(From Top) Metal graters forming turtle, crane, and the basic plane type (from left to right)
Metal Scissors
Straw Bind Tools for cleaning and washing
Posts & Pans Mats embroidered with "Kogin"stitches, traditional folk-stitch patterns from Aomori Prefecture.

Box framed texts by the exhibiting artists, again the example of spacing objects.

Just Random placement?  No.  Great sense of measurement of "Ma" (Spacing) is presented here.

I think this peaceful Zen-Mood Setting creates the best way of mutual communication between the visitors and the objects (which carry the artists' hearts).  It reminds me of spirit of Japanese Tea Ceremony.  Exchange of energy between tea servers and receivers in tranquility.

How interesting the way we can find the best "Ma"(Spacing) to create Zen mood.
It is horizontal grouping of objects, with no rules and limits yet only you could find the right moment -
when the objects tell you to stop, move and finally grounded still.   

Special Thanks to: Ryo Kitada (writer) and Satoshi Takahira (Screen Print Artist) who took me to Soramitsu.


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