Category Archives: Japan

Masaru Suzuki

Masaru Suzuki is a respected textile designer who comes from the seaport town of Chiba, Japan. He is best known for his bold, playful compositions inspired by nature, plants and animals.  He graduated from Tama Art University with a BA in Dyeing and Weaving Design.  After working at a few design studios in 1995 he started to expand own business as a textile designer.  In 2005 he started his own fabric line Ottaipnu and in 2010 collaborated with Nordic textile manufacturer, Marimekko.  Currently he has been designing various manufacturers and brands in Japan and overseas.  On design site Kinarino he says this about colors:

“I don’t think “flashy = beautiful color”. There is absolutely no dirty color when viewed by itself, it’s a combination of saving and killing, so I am very conscious of that. Well, personally I like flashy colors, so I’d like to use it if it’s allowed (laughs) Of course I also like black and white beige, and I wear it myself, but I try to use colors that have an impact somewhere. I feel like my thoughts will stop if I use only safe colors.”

The artist can be followed on his website and on his company’s website, Ottaipnu.

Images:  Courtesy of Masaru Suzuki.

Taku Bannai

Love the feeling of open space and solitude in these very peaceful minimalist illustrations by Japanese artist Taku Bannai.  Born in Tokyo the artist graduated from Tama Art University and MJ Illustration School.  His illustrations are collaged together using colored paper cut into simple figures and scenes.  The texture and layering of the different papers gives his work a deep fragile quality.You can follow the artist on his website, Behance and Instagram.

Images:  Courtesy of Taku Bannai.

Joki

We found these items on Japanese marketplace, Iichi.  They are a marketplace for handicrafts and small-scale manufacturing.  This particular shop, Joki, sells hand-woven cloth that has been firmly woven using the traditional weaving method called overshot.  The creator Miyoko Kirigaya sells her wares under the brand name, Joki, a Finnish word for river.  The artisan graduated from Joshibi University of Art and Design and was a textile designer for seven years before raising her children.

More of her work can be found on her website and on Instagram.  Her products are sold here in Iichi.

Images:  Courtesy of Joki.