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Media Release

For Immediate Release | January 20, 2020

Seikatsu Kogei

Objects for Intentional Living Exhibition

Seikatsu Kogei: Objects for Intentional Living explores the Japanese craft movement that began in the 1990s known as Seikatsu Kogei, or lifestyle crafts. See how the works of Seikatsu Kogei artists re-examine our relationship to the objects in our lives, presented together in Australia for the first time.

This exhibition presents some 50 works by 22 currently-active Seikatsu Kogei artists. The objects on display are made from a variety of materials, including wood, ceramics, lacquer, glass, metal, bamboo, paper and clay. The exhibition will run at The Japan Foundation Gallery from February 21 to May 23, 2020.

with artist Ryuji Mitani in attendance

February 21, 2020 (Friday)
6:30pm-8pm (Doors open 6pm)

About the exhibition

A Brief Introduction to Seikatsu Kogei

In the 1980s, the majority of Japanese creators working in crafts were pursuing individuality, artistic expression and other artistic objectives. Then, in the 1990s, they began to take an interest in crafts conceived with living and lifestyle in mind. Many craft artists toned down the level of individuality, shifting from creating “works” to creating simpler utensils that that fit in well with modern living.

Many Seikatsu Kogei artists and users lived through Japan’s economic bubble. After the bubble burst, they turned their gaze inward to look more closely at how we live, thinking about what is authentic and about what quality consumption truly entails. Then, Seikatsu Kogei artists began to make crafts that address these questions and suggest solutions, resulting in lifestyle crafts.

The term “Seikatsu Kogei” first entered the public consciousness as the title of an exhibition in 2010 at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. By defining a category distinct from decorative crafts and traditional crafts, the term soon caught on and gained widespread acceptance.

Related Events

with Ryuji Mitani

February 22, 2020 (Saturday)

Ryuji Mitani

One of the artists in the exhibition, woodworker Ryuji Mitani, has long been an active promoter of the link between people and the objects we use in our everyday lives.

Born in 1952 in Fukui City, Mitani established PERSONA STUDIO in Matsumoto City in 1981. Until then, woodworkers had mainly focused on furniture, but Mitani makes bowls and other utensils out of wood instead of ceramic, opening up the craft to a new medium. In addition, Mitani adds white to traditional red and black lacquers, creating contemporary lacquerware, and produces paintings and sculptural works with a familiar, intimate feel.

Mitani participates in a number of activities that link Seikatsu Kogei with everyday life, and has been involved in running the Crafts Fair Matsumoto in Matsumoto City since its inception in 1985. Mitani will be attending the exhibition opening reception on February 21, 2020 and giving a talk on February 22, 2020.

About the event

Stay tuned for more information about additional events coming soon!


Header image © Ryuji Mitani

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Gallery Hours

Mon–Thu: 10am–8pm*
*10am-6pm from April 1026
Fri: 10am–6pm
Sat: 10am–4pm

Closed Sundays and Public Holidays
(March 20, April 10, 13, 14, 24)


The Japan Foundation, Sydney Gallery
Level 4 (via lifts), Central Park
28 Broadway
Chippendale NSW 2008


Free admission

Media Enquiries

Anne Lee
(02) 8239 0055

General Enquiries

(02) 8239 0055

Presented by

In collaboration with

Gallery yamahon

As part of

Supported by

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