Porcelain by Jaime Hayón for Kutani Choemon
Tokyo 2010: Spanish designer Jaime Hayón has designed a range of objects for traditional Japanese porcelain company Choemon.
Each piece in the collection features unique artwork created by Hayón and inspired by Japanese culture, in particular that of the dinner table.
The pieces were created in collaboration with Japanese product design brand Maruwakaya.
The collection was presented at DesignTide Tokyo 2010 last week.
See all our stories on Jaime Hayón in our special cateogory.
Here is some more information about the collection:
The story begins when Maruwakaya, a neo-traditional Japanese product design brand and the world renowned Spanish designer, Jaime Hayon, met at DESIGNTIDE TOKYO 2009, one of the biggest autumn design festivals in Asia.
Hirotoshi Maruwaka, the producer of Maruwakaya, asked Hayon a question with a strong intention in mind, that if he was interested in working with Kamide Choemon-gama, a pottery of one of Japan's most acclaimed traditional porcelain crafts, Kutaniyaki.
Maruwaka told Hayon that he wanted to produce new ceramic crafts combining Hayon's creativeness in design with Choemon-gama's craftsman skills.
Hayon, having been inspired with the worlds of Choemon-gama at previous Designtide, agreed at once.
This was the start of this fateful cross-cultural relationship between one of the most outstanding designers of today, taking his first challenge to work with Japanese crafts and Japanese traditional craftsmen without any experience with other designers ever before.
Though their backgrounds differ in many ways, they felt confident that they could create something they would be proud of.
One keyword that tied them together was 'Tsunagari (meaning relationships)', which also was the title of the exhibition by Keigo Kamide, the sixth Kamide Choemon-gama, in January 2010.
It is believed that they key ideas in traditional Japanese culture, especially ones at the dinner table, are based upon relations and links between the people at the table, food, seasons and table wares.
Thus the goal was to create pieces that help people recognise these relationships.
In order to Hayon to understand this keyword from heart, they have decided to go on a journey finding 'Tsunagari' in Japanese culture.
This search took place in Asakusa town sceneries, traditional performing arts such as Kabuki, a fish market in Kanazawa, Kaiseki ceremonial meal, long established soba restaurants and many more.
One night at a traditional dinner in a ryokan, a Japanese style inn, Hayon was really fascinated with the wide varieties of Japanese tableware each serving for different purposes.
This night, he felt and experienced the real 'Tsunagari' in Japanese culture.
What is most important is not the knowledge, but is what you feel in the heart.
At the pottery, Hayon surprised the craftsmen by introducing very unique and original ideas but also keeping the traditional feel of Kutaniyaki.
Kamide Choemon-gama was fully trusting Hayon to take this new challenge.
There was an exchange in souls between the two to achieve their goal.
Their creative souls had bonded together as they spent time communicating, checking, making things work and sharing joys together.
Though Hayon came from a different part of the world, what they have created stands proudly as genuinely Japanese with Japanese spirit.
Spending hours and days at the pottery, Hayon and Maruwakaya became a part of the family of the craftsmen of Kamide Choemon-gama.
This is the story of Tsunagari and the pieces we've created are the message of the story.
We hope you could hold the pieces in your hands and feel the message from our heart.
For us, it is never about simply bringing in what is "in" into traditional crafts.
Of late, we hear people saying "Japanese traditional culture is great" but the fact is we find a lot more imported DC brands or "Japanese-ish" products without actual identitied or meaning.
This is the kind of Japan, we live in right now.
Our aim is to make more appealing products with the traditional and authentic Japanese aesthetic sense.
With this project, we felt as if Jaime was telling us Japanese to have more pride in our crafts and cultures.
"Over the next few years, we plan to present our achievement of this project, which we hope it would inspire lot of people including traditional craftsen allover Japan to challenge new things." Hirotoshi Maruwaka, head of Maruwakaya
"We were able to sympathise very much to the fascinating ideas rom Jaime Hayon and his attitude towards creations.
In the old days, Kutaniyaki establish its reputation by inviting numerous artists and potters.
The creative process on this project with Jaime was no different from the way our proud predecessors worked.
We are pleased to feel as if we were back in the days when Kutaniyaki originated 350 years ago."
"To work with Choemon and the team has been a great experience. I've worked with porcelain with high scaled people and companies for a decade, but this felt like and tradition, it was a great challenge." Jaime Hayon
Born in Madrid, Spain in 1974. At age of 23 he was promoted to head of Design Department of Fabrica, the Benetton-funded design and communication academy. His works for global brands includes Lladro, Baccarat, SWAROVSKI, CAMPER, Established & Sons, and moo. Jaime is one of the most symbolic creators of this decade. He has won numerous awards. Most recently, he was guest of honour at the 2008 Interieur Biennial in Belgium, the youngest person ever to receive the accolade.
Established in 1879 at Terai Mura, Nomi-gun, Ishikawa Prefecture as a pottery of Kutaniyaki. For over 130 years, they make tableware to tea sets with hands using the original traditional technique which is passed on from generation to generation. Their pieces features very fine art work with deep colours and sturdy and beautiful porcelain.
A creative product producer team and a Japanese style product brand, headed by Hirotoshi Maruwaka, established in 2007. "Where should Japanese crafts go?" as their fundamental question, Maruwakaya works and collaborates with many craftsmen and companies all over Japan to lead the direction of Japanese crafts. One of their popular products is "otsuriki" iPhone cover, which uses traditional craft "inden", presented at DESIGNTIDE 2009.
Production: Kamide Choemon-gama
Design: Jaime Hayon (hayonstudio)
Produce: MARUWAKAYA co., Ltd.
Coordinate: Yoshizo Yoshimura (DEVILROBOTS Inc.)
Press: Miki Koike (HOW INCORPORATED)
Translation: Kotohiro Nishiyama (DEVILROBOTS Inc.)
Art direction: Jaime Hayon (hayonstudio)
Design: Atsushi Umezawa (Glam Beast Co., Ltd.)
Photo: Nienke Klunder, Koichiro Kutsuna
Text: Keita Fukasawa
Translation: Wataru Igarashi
DNP Fotolusio Co., Ltd.
Fukumitsuya Co., Ltd.
Miyamoto Unosuke Co., Ltd.
Kazuki Hasegawa (KOUJIN)
Hiroyuki Matsumoto (UNIT.DESIGN)
E.N.N Co., Ltd.
|See all our stories on
|Flying City Tableware by Carsten Höller||More tableware