Toyo Ito: Ripples, 2003. Six layers of different types of wood enable the unusual design of this bench. Manufacturer: Horm, Italy. Courtesy of Toyo Ito & Associates, Japan
MIKAN: eleFan(t), inflatable alternative structure, 2004. Fabric. Courtesy of MIKAN
Hiroyuki Matsukage: BEER, SEX, MYLIFE, 1995. Digital print. Courtesy of Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo
Tokujin Yoshioka: Honey-pop chair, 2002. Paper folds. Manufacturer: Driade, Italy, collection of The Israel Museum
Naoto Fukasawa (±0/plusminuszero Co. Ltd.): A Light with a Dish, 2004. Manufacturer: Takara Co. Ltd., Japan

Exhibition: Design & Architecture of Japan in Israel

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, is presenting the exhibition "Fusion: Design + Architecture of Japan" from July 31 until December 11, 2004. Works of more than 30 contemporary artists, architects and designers are being shown. "Fusion" is the first big presentation of Japanese design and architecture in Israel.


"Fusion" is part of a series of exhibitions in The Israel Museum investigating contemporary and historic movements of Japanese art and culture. The exhibition presents young designers who merge graphic design, photography, stage design and music. Borrowing parts from other media, mixing, creating and re-designing them – anything goes. For example, in the works of Hiroyuki Matsukage, whose photography captures various influences that occur in Japanese advertising, combines Western and Japanese symbols in an unusual way.

Fashion designer Issey Miyake and textile designer Reiko Sudo merge traditional crafts with futuristic technology and produce revolutionary textiles and fashion. Customers can even co-design Miyake's collection A-POC ("A Piece of Cloth") from 2001: they can shorten the sleeves and skirts according to their own wishes in the final production stage.

Famous Japanese architects present their innovations in the exhibition. Toyo Ito is represented with his project "Sendai Mediatheque" (2001), a combination of art gallery, library, a service center for the hearing and visually impaired, and a visual imaging media center. Ito's bench "Ripples" (2003) is also shown in "Fusion"; several layers of wood are placed on top of each other, and a few round cutouts offer a view into the unusual design. The architect Shigeru Ban, who is known for his buildings made of recyclable materials like bamboo and cardboard tubes, presents objects from his oeuvre. In addition, two installations are on show: the architectural studio Bow-Wow has set up a library with 1,200 Manga comics, "MangaPod" (2002), which serves as a resting zone for visitors, and MIKAN presents "EleFan(t)" (2003), an inflatable mobile house made of fabrics.

The exhibition also presents a series of objects which represent Japanese product design, including electrical appliances by Sharp and Sony, household products from the cult shop Muji, furniture like the chair "Honey Pop" (2001) by Tokujin Yoshioka, and the Zen-like objects by Naoto Fukasawa.

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