Shiro and Shiro
An Exhibition of Designs by Makoto Koizumi
May 17-26, 2019
Nalata Nalata is pleased to announce Shiro and Shiro, a forthcoming exhibition of designs by renowned architect and industrial designer Makoto Koizumi. The words shiro (白) and shiro (素) mean “white” and “basic”. Brought together in the context of design, the concept explores complex and shifting ideas about simplicity, purity, and truth.
“The beauty in the final product comes when the eventual form of an object has been thoroughly thought through and possesses its intended functionality.” – Makoto Koizumi
To design with honesty is no easy task, for one must have the vision to discern the immaterial from the core. Makoto Koizumi possesses that ability to see the possibilities that lie beyond an established structure and define both what is missing and what is extraneous. With this sensitivity, he strips away all excess until only what is essential remains. His deep comprehension of how each small part exists to form the whole gives every detail equal weight in his careful hands.
In this exhibition, we are pleased to present collections of objects designed by Koizumi-san to reveal their essence. Free from excess, the inner qualities of each piece are poignantly felt. There is a moving connection between the intrinsic nature of the material and the object’s function: organically textured cups and bowls showcase the bright properties of tin; a chair is luminous in the purity of its form; minimal white ceramic tableware captures the tranquil spirit of tea ceremony. The grace in these objects is arresting and universal. Without distraction, without embellishment, they are powerful reminders of all the potential that begins from discarding the superfluous to seek out the truth.
“Whether it’s architecture or product design, lifestyle design is the explanation behind everything I do. The concept of Japanese lifestyle design is defined as making necessary tools for everyday life, beautifully”. – Makoto Koizumi
With the sensitivity to see the possibilities that lie beyond an established structure and define both what is missing and what is extraneous, Koizumi-san has made his mark across a spectrum of industries. His designs have been hammered into tin, carved in hinoki wood, cast in nambu iron, and woven into cotton cloth. He at once collaborates with specialized individual craftsmen and legendary manufacturers.
Over the span of a year, Nalata Nalata has worked closely with Makoto Koizumi balancing Japanese design values with our own brand ethos to translate it into a collection of objects that would connect with lives on an everyday scale. Each piece was born from a multitude of iterations rooted in a collaboration process with talented artisans and specialized manufacturers who we have known for years and trust to share our commitment to quality. The inherent, raw beauty of wood was featured in the design of functional office tools such as a clipboard and ruler. The natural asymmetry of wood grain guided the curves of vases, plates and trays as craftsmen hand-carved the smooth forms from solid blocks of oak, beech, sakura, and chestnut. The objects in this series each hold countless layers of intimate human involvement, from design to craftsmanship