Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan at The British Museum
Until 21 October there is an exhibition at ;a href=”http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/whats_on/all_current_exhibitions/crafting_beauty.aspx”>The British Museum
I meant to blog this before it opened but it is now over a month since and I’ve only today had a chance to visit this exhibition.
Generally I don’t go to exhibitions with an entry fee in the UK. It’s usually quite expensive. I’m used to the idea of free museums. However as this was Japanese and not too expensive I went along.
It’s quite a small exhibition really comprising modern craft from Japan. There’s ceramics, metalwork, kimono, lacquerware, dolls and a couple of other crafts.
The high point for me were the kimono and some lacquerware. As well as recognition of some of the dolls to ones I had seen in Tokyo. ceramics don’t do a lot for me and while I can intellectually understand the intentionally crude ceramics for the tea ceremony, aesthetically it doesn’t excite me. I can see the skill and beauty in the larger pieces however. The kimono are quite beautiful but I wonder what they would be like with an obi; would you see the design? Which made me think of a larger issue; these crafts are meant to be used not locked away behind glass. touched. experienced. But I suppose it’s the only way the masses can expeierence them. You would need to be a milionaire aesthete to be able to use these items in a sparse spartan lifestyle. If you are merely well off you could buy an £800 sake set in the shop on the way out.
If you don’t want to go to the exhibition check out the events that are part of it like film screenings and sake tastings.