Takeo Paper Show ‘Subtle’ at Japan House L.A.

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“Control” by Ryuji Nakamura, from the Takeo Paper show “Subtle.” (Photo by Amana Group)

Japan House Los Angeles, located at Hollywood & Highland Center, 6801 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles, presents “Subtle,” an experimental exploration of the delicate world of paper in contemporary context, through May 23.

Familiar and everyday, paper is featured in innovative creations that awaken acute human perception through multiple, sophisticated design experiences. Curated and directed by Kenya Hara, art director for the global Japan House project, the exhibition bears the influence of Japanese minimalism and invites the viewer to observe each artwork and item in detail, uncovering what may not be evident upon first look.

“Subtle” is the latest iteration of the iconic Takeo Paper Show, organized by Takeo Co., Ltd. First held in 1965, it is Japan’s only paper industry show dedicated to the universe of paper, making a significant contribution to paper culture, highlighting innovation in the material and manipulation of paper. Always ahead of its time, the Takeo Paper Show is renowned for working with top industry creators to realize the challenge of identifying new potential from paper.

The exhibition is divided into four primary parts. The core presentation consists of inventive paper creations, displayed on a series of 27 tables, that awaken the senses through multiple, sophisticated design and technology experiences.

The first section, “Subtle | Creation,” is a manifestation of the concept of “Subtle” as imagined and represented by objects designed and produced by 15 creators working in Japan from diverse disciplines across art, animation, architecture, art, fashion, graphic design, and literature. The individual artist’s unique creations deepen the fascination with their choice of paper, highlighting its diversity of textures, colors, through techniques and applications specific to their practice.

The second, “Subtle | Collection,” comprises a collection featuring examples of products that invite visitors to recall their own experiences and memories related to the material, such as paper lace, envelopes, and more traditional Japanese objects, such as uchiwa, paddle-shaped fans. These items reflect historic and cultural significance and incorporate washi, a Japanese paper considered a national treasure.

The third component, “Paper | A Portrait,” is a selection of photography from Yoshihiko Ueda, who through his gaze translates the Japanese passion for paper, expressing it through the play between light and the subtle textures and folds within the material.

The exhibition concludes with a “Subtle on Products” presentation showcasing the continuous role technological development plays in paper innovation, ultimately setting trends within the design sector in Japan and globally. Artworks created by the architecture office noiz (a renowned Tokyo architectural design agency), using two special papers, NT Rasha and Biotope GA-FS, developed by Takeo Co. Ltd., highlight the material’s potential for design applications.

Takeo is a specialty paper company built on the foundation of paper, design and technology, determined to build a new paper culture and marketplace by collaborating with creators from various disciplinary fields. Since its inception in 1899, the company has shaped its own history as a specialty paper company. From the 1950s, based on collaboration between paper manufacturers and designers, Takeo has initiated research, development, and sales of fine paper, high-grade specialty printing paper with an emphasis on texture and color, creating many original products. Basing its work on the origins of paper, Takeo has continued to take up the challenge of creating new markets, while meeting the need for diversification and sophistication in their offerings.

Admission is free. Gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Parking validation available for visitors. For more information, call (323) 467-7718 or visit www.japanhouse.jp/losangeles.

“Control” by Ryuji Nakamura (Photo by Amana Group)

Japan House seeks to foster awareness and appreciation for Japan around the world by showcasing the very best of Japanese art, design, gastronomy, innovation, technology, and more. An innovative project of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan House is composed of three hubs — London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo.

Japan House occupies two floors in the popular Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex and brings various aspects of Japan to American and international audiences.

On the second floor, the facility spans more than 6,000 square feet and features an exhibition gallery, a retail space that carries an expertly curated selection of uniquely Japanese products, a small café, and a sub-gallery suitable for intimate gallery talks and smaller exhibitions. The fifth-floor space spans 8,000 square feet and features a fine-dining Japanese restaurant, a relaxing library, a multi-purpose event venue, and spectacular views of Los Angeles.

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