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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

We are thrilled to be joined by Koizumi-san himself on the evening of Friday, May 17th. Pastry artist Ayako Kurokawa of Burrow will be providing refreshments inspired by the show concept. Music will be provided by Paul Lewis.  

Explore Koizumi-san’s studio here.

View a recap of the event here.

Shop the Exhbition

White Donabe
White Donabe

White Donabe

Makoto Koizumi for Ambai

I am a White Donabe. A belly full of rice makes me feel so nice.    

$170
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Tosaita Cutting Board - Medium
Tosaita Cutting Board - Medium

Tosaita Cutting Board - Medium

Makoto Koizumi for Ambai

I am a Medium Tosaita Cutting Board. The knife has a sharp tongue, but I have high self esteem.  

$60
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R+R Chair
R+R Chair

R+R Chair

Makoto Koizumi for Miyazaki Chair Factory

I am an R+R Chair. Rest and Restore! Read and Relax! Rock and Roll! The R’s are up to you with me in support.   

$850
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Wood Tray - Beech
Wood Tray - Beech

Wood Tray - Beech

Makoto Koizumi for Nalata Nalata

I am a Beech Wood Tray. I practice what I preach, for I’m a simple tray of beech!   

$320
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MI Table
MI Table

MI Table

Makoto Koizumi for Miyazaki Chair Factory

I am an MI Table. The moral of my fable is that a table should be stable.   

$3,600
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Wood Clipboard - White Cherry
Wood Clipboard - White Cherry

Wood Clipboard - White Cherry

Makoto Koizumi for Nalata Nalata

I am a White Cherry Wood Clipboard. Lean on me, when you're not strong, I'll be your friend, I'll help you write on and on.   

$55
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Kaico Canister Set
Kaico Canister Set

Kaico Canister Set

Makoto Koizumi for Shoei Industrial (iron) and Nitto (enamel)

I am a Kaico Canister Set. I like to think I'm pretty tough. Scared of nothing and able to hold anything tightly. Actually, maybe I spoke too soon… It’s getting dark in here. Will somebody please give me some air? Hello? Somebody? Anybody?  

$135
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Mortar and Pestle
Mortar and Pestle

Mortar and Pestle

Makoto Koizumi for Kihara

I am a Mortar and Pestle. Friction and pressure are everywhere. Why not channel it into something tasty?   

$55
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Tare Bowl
Tare Bowl

Tare Bowl

Makoto Koizumi for Nousaku

I am a Tare Bowl. I'm a little bowl of tin. Fill me up and then dip in!   

Starting at $64
Shochu Pitcher
Shochu Pitcher

Shochu Pitcher

Makoto Koizumi

I am a Shochu Pitcher. You don't need perfect pitch to know that chilled shochu always hits the high note.   

$95
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Wood Vase - Chestnut
Wood Vase - Chestnut

Wood Vase - Chestnut

Makoto Koizumi for Nalata Nalata

I am an Chestnut Wood Vase. Just like the flowers I hold, I'm a natural beauty.   

Starting at $48
Kaico Tea Kettle
Kaico Tea Kettle

Kaico Tea Kettle

Makoto Koizumi for Shoei Industrial (iron) and Nitto (enamel)

I am a Kaico Tea Kettle. My clean, white design makes me look chill. Careful, don't spill!  

$150
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Kaico Lidded Pan
Kaico Lidded Pan

Kaico Lidded Pan

Makoto Koizumi for Shoei Industrial (iron) and Nitto (enamel)

I am a Kaico Lidded Pan. Let’s get this pasta party going! I’m fired up here! Toss in the rigatoni and watch me boil over with excitement.  

$130
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Kaico Milk Pan
Kaico Milk Pan

Kaico Milk Pan

Makoto Koizumi for Shoei Industrial (iron) and Nitto (enamel)

I am a Kaico Milk Pan. It's no use crying over spilt milk, but let's try not to spill it in the first place, okay?  

Starting at $75
Kaico Lidded Pot
Kaico Lidded Pot

Kaico Lidded Pot

Makoto Koizumi for Shoei Industrial (iron) and Nitto (enamel)

I am a Kaico Lidded Pot. It’s a fast paced life on the burner. There’s no room for the weak. When the temperature gets hot, the pressure rises so if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!  

$120
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Enzo Teapot
Enzo Teapot

Enzo Teapot

Makoto Koizumi for Kihara

I am an Enzo Tea Pot. Here’s a pot of tea to clear your mind, so that your body can be free.    

$80
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Oval Plate
Oval Plate

Oval Plate

Makoto Koizumi

I am an Oval Plate. Circular plates are for squares.    

Starting at $25
Lemon Juicer
Lemon Juicer

Lemon Juicer

Makoto Koizumi for Kihara

I am a Lemon Juicer. Are your lemons getting loose? Turn them into juice!   

$35
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Mortar and Pestle
Mortar and Pestle

Mortar and Pestle

Makoto Koizumi for Kihara

I am a Mortar and Pestle. Friction and pressure are everywhere. Why not channel it into something tasty?   

$55
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Porcelain Butter Case
Porcelain Butter Case

Porcelain Butter Case

Makoto Koizumi for Kihara

I am a Porcelain Butter Case. Butter, you are safe with me as long as my lid is closed. After that, I can’t make any promises.   

$60
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