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Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens Announces first U.S. Kogei Arts and Crafts Exhibition

On view through February 23, alongside Breaking Boundaries: Contemporary Street Fashion in Japan exhibit

DELRAY BEACH, FL – Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is making history, as it hosts the first ever Kogei arts and crafts exhibition in the United States, through Feb. 23, 2014. Contemporary Kogei Styles in Japan was made possible through a special collaboration by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Consulate General of Japan inMiami,withcontributionsfromtheTokyo National Museum of Modern Art, All Nippon Airways Co., LTD., and Stella M. Holmes.

“Dedicated to representing the living culture of Japan, we are honored to host this unprecedented exhibition,” said Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens Park Administrator Bonnie White LeMay. “Our collaboration with various other organizations to make this happen attests to our valued relationship with Japan and helps establish us as a leader in art and culture.”

Representing a prestigious status in Japan, Kogei is an authentic Japanese art form that requires the practical use of nature’s artistic beauty by using organic natural materials such as stone, minerals, trees, and plants. Kogei has been associated with art and the evolution of the likes of Japanese tea ceremony and flower arrangement, giving rise to an appreciation of the beauty of refined traditional skills.

Contemporary Kogei Styles in Japan features a unique collection of 90 Kogei style contemporary artworks, including ceramics, textiles, dolls, metal works, urushi (lacquer work), wood, bamboo, and glass. It showcases a selection of works from 39 highly renowned artists, as well as younger artists whose creativity has earned them recognition in recent years.

“Viewers will encounter artists who have spent many years acquiring and honing traditional skills with intricate historical connections, as they express originality while saluting tradition and adhering to utility and beauty. They will also find artists whose brilliance in technique and harnessing the unique features of the source materials reveals the possibilities for original plastic expression,” explained Contemporary Kogei Styles in Japan curator Moroyama Masanori from The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. “Both have earned acclaim for their works imbued with modernity.”

The first Kogei collection ever exhibited outside of Japan, Crafting Beauty, which focused on traditional arts and crafts, was showcased at the world famous British Museum in 2007. The only other notable exhibition of Kogei was in 2012 at Palazzo Pitti in Italy. Titled Historic Art and Crafts, it focused on modern art. As the first of its kind to appear in the U.S., this exhibit represents the starting point for a presentation of Kogei art worldwide.

The Kogei artists, whose work is shown,are evolving the future of Japanese arts W and crafts, as well as making international contributions to art and cultural interaction,”added Masanori.

Also through Feb. 23, the Morikami will host the exhibition Breaking Boundaries: Contemporary Street Fashion in Japan. It will display some of the most popular and imaginative clothing styles made and worn on the streets of Japan today. The outfits represented include “cute” Lolita fashions, Gothic-Lolita, Punk, and a melting pot mélange of many others. On view are an assortment of garments and accessories produced by the trendiest Japanese street fashion brands, such as Metamorphose, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, and more. The chic clothing is accompanied by a selection of photographs of stylish street wear captured on the fashionable boulevards of Japan.
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The Morikami is located at 4000 Morikami Park Road in Delray Beach, Florida. Visit www.morikami.org or call 561- 495-0233.

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