Jessica Hemmings

Textile Writer

Zakka: Goods & Things, Tokyo

A“Zakka: Goods and Things”
21_21 Design Sight, The Miyake Issey Foundation, Tokyo, Japan
February 26 – June 6, 2016
Exhibition Director Naoto Fukasawa
Reviewed by Professor Jessica Hemmings, National College of Art & Design, Dublin

What is zakka – or more crucially what is it not? The term loosely translates in English as sundries or miscellaneous goods. Perhaps more familiar in our vocabulary: the everyday. But precisely what, even the exhibition organisers acknowledge, is a little tricky to pin down. Naoto Fukasawa, the exhibition’s Director as well as the Director of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum, suggests, “zakka have emerged as another category of things that have an allure that is distinct from the allure of design, art, antiques, folk craft and handicraft.” What we are left with is modest – sometimes even mundane. But Fukawasa qualifies this importance by the sense of nostalgia these objects may conjure during an era when we have “grown weary of new things and are disoriented by the speed at which the times change.”…

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