Akari Light by Isamu Noguchi
Public Record is distributing the Akari lights by Isamu Noguchi in New Zealand.
"Akari" means light in Japanese.
Isamu Noguchi has had a life time of experimentation and successful, multi-disciplinary art practice. He designed the first Akari lamp in 1951, after learning about traditional paper lanterns in Gifu, Japan. In his quest for creating a sculpture of light that was like natural light, he went on to design around 200 designs for the Akari series in the latter half of his life, many of which are still in production today and will be available through Public Record.
Isamu Noguchi lamps:
Noguchi travelled extensively throughout his life, gathering up knowledge from masters all over the world. This developed his knowledge on technique and materials and gave new ways to express himself.
He worked with marble in Italy, studied brush painting in China, and learnt about clay in Japan with the ceramicist Jinmatsu Uno and Rosanjin Kitaoji. He was also inspired by the tranquil gardens in Japan and shown the impact of public works in Mexico. In 1951 he visited Gifu, Japan where traditional paper lanterns are made and began designing his modern interpretation of this traditional Japanese craft.
He believed his designs should serve a social purpose in interior design and this ideology which was given form by his sculptural style with organic shapes influenced much of the modernist design of the 1950’s.
Isamu Noguchi was one of the twentieth century’s most important and critically acclaimed artists and we are so thrilled to be distributing his important work.
Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) was a supreme talent and an idealist whose work encapsulated both ancient and modern ideas. Born in 1904 to a Japanese father and an American mother, his early life was characterised by the straddling of these inherited cultures which later became the defining attribute for his work.
Originally an academic sculptor, Noguchi’s expansive interdisciplinary practice included furniture, lighting and set design, public projects, gardens and playgrounds. The common thread between these works was of the importance of nature to the human condition and the focus to make work that referenced this belief.
In 1926 he saw an exhibition of the work by Constantin Brancusi which changed the course of his artistic direction and inspired him to take his recently acquired Guggenheim grant to Paris, where he worked as Brancusi’s first and only assistant. From this moment Noguchi turned to modernism and abstraction which would infuse his sophisticated pieces with emotion and an element of mystery.
He did not belong to any particular movement but would collaborate with artists working in a range of disciplines throughout his life. He met architect, inventor and social revolutionary R. Buckminster Fuller in 1927 who became his mentor and life-long friend, as well as Martha Graham, the dancer and choreographer who he went on to collaborate on set designs for her productions for the next 40 years. It seems that his career was defined by the inspiring community of creatives he surrounded himself with.
In 1947, Noguchi began a collaboration with George Nelson, Paul László and Charles Eames through the Herman Miller company to design a range which is considered to be one of the most influential collection of modern furniture ever produced.
His works are still on display in 65 sites around world and many of his original designs are still produced and relevant (as well as heavily referenced) today.
Isamu Noguchi has lived a full and interesting life. He is quoted by his apprentice in saying “our unseen, intangible past is what gives form to our future” and how we live and learn is the sum of this unseen and intangible past. Through the sweep of his work, we see that Noguchi’s past must have been strong and self-assured because throughout his life he tackled a huge variety of projects, always moving forward with clarity of mind and clear views.
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