‘Sharjapan: The Poetics of Space’ highlights book design in Japan

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Sharjah Art Foundation opened an exhibition on Wednesday titled ‘Sharjapan: The Poetics of Space’, curated by Yuko Hasegawa at the foundation’s Al Hamriyah Studios.

There was a solo performance by Japanese poet Gōzō Yoshimasu in the evening in Al Hamriyah Studios, following the exhibition opening.

The exhibition highlights book design in Japan from the early 20th century to the present through innovative exhibition methods, bringing together typography, page design and photographs combining text and images.

The exhibition comprises six broad sections, divided according to the individual nature and characteristics of the books on view:

• Books created in the 1930s and 1940s with unique materials such as umbrella-paper, bagworm moths and edible seaweed.

• Photobooks containing photographs by Ikko Narahara of Piazza San Marco in Venice, with the books becoming an installation that recreates an architectural space.

• Books as satisfying objects, presenting varied ideas for 2D and 3D designs

• Books becoming art and artists creating works with a book as their theme, including works by artist, graphic designer and book designer Shinro Ohtake; artist and photographer Asami Kiyokawa, who creates objects by adding embroidery to books; and poet Gozo Yoshimasu, who returns to books the primal elements of his words.

• Pre- and postwar magazine designs and washi paper sample books that highlight iconic designer Hiromu Hara’s deconstructivist approach.

• Photobooks that become an exhibition space.

Culture Convenience Club Co., Ltd. has organized the selection and presentation of the books, and Yoshiaki Irobe from Nippon Design Center executed the design of the exhibition space.

‘Sharjapan: The Poetics of Space’ is the first in a three-year-long series of exhibitions to be curated by Yuko Hasegawa for Sharjah Art Foundation.

Public programme

• Thursday, November 22: Collaborative performance by Yoshimasu and Emirati poet Hassan Al Najjar at 6:00 pm in Poetry House, Al Mureijah, Sharjah.

• Friday, November 23: Tour of the exhibition by curator Yuko Hasegawa at 5:00 pm in Al Hamriyah Studios.

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