Living Kogei 藝流不息
Contemporary Japanese Craft from the Ise Collection 伊勢文化財團藏日本當代工藝
Introductory essay by Ben Chiesa 紀奕邦 撰著
October 2019
100 pages
11" x 11", over 60 color illustrations
HK$200 (Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, and Taiwan only)
US$30 (Other Countries)
Paperback 978-988-19025-8-0

The modern Japanese term for artisan crafts, kogei (pronounced ‘ko-gay’) refers to a form of highly skilled artistic expression associated with specific regions and craftsmen in Japan. Kogei works typically include ceramics, textiles, lacquer, metal, glass and wood, and have at their core a concern for fine craftsmanship and the inherent qualities of the materials. Informed by centuries of tradition, these crafts have been revitalised and expanded in recent years, with emerging avant-garde tendencies in fields such as bamboo sculpture and studio glass competing with established practices and values that are deeply embedded in Japanese culture.

Drawn from the diverse collections of the Ise Foundation, Living Kogei highlights over sixty works by prominent and emerging contemporary Japanese artists—including Living National Treasures whose skills have been recognised by the Japanese government. Ranging from rustic ceramics with asymmetrical forms, to abstract glass with elegant silhouettes and sensuous colours, each work demonstrates how contemporary artisans revere and carry on the long tradition of Japanese craft, while at the same time departing from convention in search of the new.