Holland-Kyushu aims to strengthen cultural ties between the Netherlands and Japan, and in particular Kyushu, Japan’s second-largest island, for now and the future.
The year got off to a start in February during the MONO Japan craft and design fair at the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam. The venue’s splendid ambience was a perfect setting for the traditionally crafted Japanese objects. ‘Last week, we discovered how special the design marriage between the Netherlands and Japan truly is,’ wrote the trendsetting magazine Wallpaper about the fair. The first edition of MONO Japan drew almost 5000 visitors. Preparations for a new edition in 2017 are already underway.
Innovation meets tradition
Meanwhile, during this year’s MONO Japan, representatives of Dutch and Japanese crafts made contacts. DutchCulture will be accompanying the Craft Council Nederland to Kyushu in April for an exchange of knowledge between experts. According to the initiator of MONO Japan, Emiko Chujo, the Dutch interest in traditional Japanese crafts is remarkable, seeing as they contrast sharply with the progressive, rational, innovative approach and modern techniques like 3-D printing that characterise Dutch design. But it is precisely in these areas that the two countries can learn from each other. DutchCulture is working with the Crafts Council and craftspeople on Kyushu to set up a programme revolving around the topics of traditional craftsmanship, innovation and productive business models.
Cultural blossoming in the spring
Besides a meeting of experts on Kyushu, more Dutch/Japanese activities will be taking place this spring. To mention but a few: the Rijksmuseum will host a presentation of the Arita/2016 project. Headed up by Stefan Scholten of Scholten & Baijings, the project is a collaboration between 16 international designers, including four from the Netherlands, and porcelain manufacturers from Arita in honour of the 400th anniversary of this world-famous porcelain. Scholten & Baijings, Studio Wieki Somers, Christien Meindertsma and Kirstie van Noort contributed innovative designs to the new collection of Arita porcelain. Also opening next to the Rijksmuseum is a special Arita House, where not only porcelain but other Japanese and international design will be exhibited. Finally, during the Dutch Jazz Festival in May, various Dutch jazz musicians will tour a number of cities on Kyushu, including Nagasaki, Saga and Ukiha.
For the entire schedule and more information on Holland-Kyushu, please see: hollandkyushu.com
MONO Japan in Wallpaper