Reinventing Japanese Traditions in 21st Century Living Kogei

Living Kogei: Contemporary Japanese Craft from the Ise Collection


Connection
Chikuunsai Tanabe IV (b. 1973)
Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, 2018
Bamboo, 34.5 x 69 cm
Image courtesy of the Ise Collection

Connection

Chikuunsai Tanabe IV (b. 1973)

Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, 2018

Bamboo, 34.5 x 69 cm

Image courtesy of the Ise Collection

The modern Japanese term for artisan crafts, kogei (pronounced ‘ko-gay’) refers to a form of highly skilled artistic expression associated with specific regions and craftsmen in Japan. Kogei works typically include ceramics, textiles, lacquer, metal, glass and wood, and have at their core a concern for fine craftsmanship and the inherent qualities of the materials. Informed by centuries of tradition, these crafts have been revitalised and expanded in recent years, with emerging avant-garde tendencies in fields such as bamboo sculpture and studio glass competing with established practices and values that are deeply embedded in Japanese culture.

The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) will present Living Kogei: Contemporary Japanese Craft from the Ise Collection from August 7 to October 27, 2019. Drawn from the diverse collections of the Ise Foundation, Living Kogei highlights over seventy works by prominent and emerging contemporary Japanese artists—including Living National Treasures whose skills have been recognised by the Japanese government. Ranging from rustic ceramics with asymmetrical forms, to abstract glass with elegant silhouettes and sensuous colours, each work demonstrates how contemporary artisans revere and carry on the long tradition of Japanese craft, while at the same time departing from convention in search of the new.

An opening ceremony of the exhibition was held at UMAG today (August 6). Officiating guests included Ambassador and Consul-General of Japan in Hong Kong Mr Mitsuhiro Wada, Chairman of the HKU Museum Society Mrs Yvonne Choi and UMAG Director Dr Florian Knothe.

For more images and captions of the exhibits, please click here.

VIP Guided Tour and Welcoming Ceremony

Date: October 9, 2019 (Wednesday)

Time: 17:00 – 19:00

Venue: 1/F – 2/F Fung Ping Shan Building, UMAG, HKU, 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam

Symposium: Living Kogei: Contemporary Japanese Craft from the Ise Collection

Date: October 10, 2019 (Thursday)

Time: TBC

Venue: 1/F – 2/F Fung Ping Shan Building, UMAG, HKU, 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam

Details of the Exhibition

Period: August 7, 2019 (Wednesday) to October 27, 2019 (Sunday)

Opening Hours:

09:30 – 18:00 (Monday to Saturday)

13:00 – 18:00 (Sunday)

Closed on University and Public Holidays

Venue: 1/F – 2/F, Fung Ping Shan Building, UMAG, HKU, 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam

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