CLOSED: Japanese Design Today 100

18 January – 17 March 2019. The one hundred years of diplomacy between Finland and Japan are being celebrated by opening a touring exhibition produced by the Japan Foundation in cooperation with the Japanese Embassy in Finland and the National Museum of Finland. The exhibition also showcases the work of young designers working in Finland, who are inspired by the tradition of Japanese design.

Most of the 100 utility articles, pieces of furniture, dishes, stationery and technological items have been created within the last eight years. They represent the Japanese aesthetic, functionality and innovation as well as the most recent trends in Japanese design. The exhibition showcases design by the younger generation as well as prominent post-war designers, such as Sori Yanagi and Riki Watanabe. 

Japonism in contemporary design

Young designers working in Finland are increasingly drawn to Japanese arts and crafts and culture for inspiration. Designers have adopted traditional Japanese techniques, such as varnishing wooden objects and Shino pottery. The influence of Japanese pop-culture, the Wabi-sabi aesthetic, which celebrates imperfection, and the Japanese tea ceremony also shine through in their work. To exhibit this design trend, the National Museum of Finland organised an open call to find 38 young designers working in Finland whose work has been influenced by Japanese culture. 

The selected designers have studied in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture of Aalto University. The works feature ceramics, glass, textiles, homeware, toys, research efforts and graphic arts. 

The exhibition will be open in the pop-up facility of the National Museum of Finland. Free entry.