Cut Glass Accents

Japanese Embassy UK Exhibition, London

  • Culture Generation Japan
  • Exhibition Booth / Embassy of Japan in the UK
  • Undisclosed
  • Completed
  • 12-05-2015

Its always nice to do something different, so it was a great experience to work in callaboration with Toru Horiguchi, a gold medal winning Edo Kriko Craftsman and Ryosuke Uemura, Japanese Food Chef (The Michelin Guide 2 Stars) to create their London exhibition.

The exhibition’s curator, designer and Seymourpowell’s creative business director for Japan, Takehiro Ikeda explains, “Cut-glass production already existed in Japan but significantly evolved with the introduction of British techniques in the 19th century. Through an interaction with Japanese sensibilities, this created a foundation for the Edo Kiriko – or Edo Cut Glass – we see today. This exhibition documents dialogues between Japanese cut-glass craftsmen, devoted to ensuring the utmost quality in their craft, and to those who may use their pieces both in Japan and abroad.” As the basis for the exhibition, Takehiro has brought together master Edo Kiriko craftsman Toru Horiguchi, and double Michelin star chef Ryosuke Uemura from Japan to explore their interconnected dialogue by creating a number of unique vessels for display which have been especially designed to enhance the beauty of Japanese cuisine – the creation of the perfect dish for the perfect dish.

A major goal of the exhibition is to highlight how Edo Kiriko create wondrous plays of light and shade, so careful attention has been given to displaying drinking vessels at their dazzling best. Master craftsman Toru Horiguchi explains, “A major concern for Edo Kiriko craftsmen is how to create the most beautiful designs that can be shown off to great effect when held in someone’s hand. Visitors to the this exhibition will be encouraged to take an Edo Kiriko glass in their hands and enjoy the beautiful patterns and play of light and shade.”

To really bring out the best of the Edo Kiriko on display it was important to create an exhibition environment that allowed visitors to get up close to the objects, but at the same time to house them in an space with a strong focus on their interplay with light. We designed a waist height blacked-out booth in the shape of a hexagon – a shape closely associated with traditional Japanese culture. Visitors could walk into the booth four or five at a time. The objects on display in the booth are lit by focused beams of light, ensuring that unadulterated attention is given to the Edo Kiriko, and that each produces the best eye-catching effects with the light.

‘Cut-Glass Accents: Dialogues for Japanese Edo Crystal’ runs from Monday 26 January to Thursday 12 February at The Embassy of Japan in the UK, 101-104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT.

The exhibition was featured in the Evening Standard’s monthly ‘top 5 things to see’