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One of the key principles of Japanese aesthetics, ‘Yūgen’, originating from Chinese philosophical texts where it conveyed the ‘dark’ or ‘mysterious’, in modern terms describes the virtue of suggestion as opposed to revelation, a profound subtlety that allows the work to be gracefully unobtrusive.
The exhibition ‘Yūgen’ explores the concept and application of this philosophy, along with other principles of Japanese design, through the works of artists working across a range of mediums, techniques and styles, who, whilst their works are individual and unique, share a guiding philosophy.
From the ceramic works of Kenta Anzai, Tetsuya Ozawa and Yoko Ozawa, which range from Urushi infused porcelain to stoneware teapots with the most intricate crackle glazes, Hideo Sawada’s poetic wooden figures and Takahashi McGil’s beautifully hand-carved sculptural utensils, to the powerful abstract artworks of washi paper artist Wataru Hatano, the collection includes both functional and sculptural works, created using an inspiring and intriguing range of traditional and experimental techniques, presenting works that are powerfully still, and beautiful understated, true representations of the very best of contemporary Japanese design.