400 Years Of Aritaware

October 2016
As a prelude to the brand’s launch next year, the 2016/ project was presented at the Fuorisalone in Milano, in the courtyard of Galleria Rossana Orlandi. Creative co-directors Teruhiro Yanagihara and Scholten & Baijings, together with artisans from the Japanese town of Arita, gathered together to present Aritaware porcelain, the story of production, and lend a first insight into the collaboration between the 16 designers and Arita potteries. The small village of Arita in Saga Prefecture showcased its 400-year history by way of some historical pieces made centuries ago. The exhibition gave a snapshot of 2016/, a new brand producing contemporary porcelain objects for the home, assem- bling 16 international designers. Together, the creative directors are leading a venture that incorporates the efforts of 10 manufacturing companies from Arita.
2016/ will offer 16 different works and collections (one from each designer), divided into two series: standard and edition. The standard series will include accessible, functional porcelain items for everyday use, bringing Aritaware to a new, broad market. Tokyo-based designer Shigeki Fujishiro worked at the acclaimed design studio IDEE before establishing his own practice in 2005. His collection for 2016/ is his very first experience of working in ceramic. “Teruhiro Yanagihara and myself”, explains the designer, “are the only Japanese designers participating in the 2016/ project and so I was asked to pay particular attention to items that might be suitable for the Japanese consumer. I therefore looked at objects that I knew could be found on the tabletop in any ordinary Japanese home, such as a grater and a soy sauce bottle. The red glaze, Akae (red painting) is a traditional and iconic process in Aritaware. It was once used on pots, vessels, and a variety of potteries. An experienced potter might frown upon this and said that such colour and form is technically impossible, but I believe that bringing the previously impossible to fruition and challenging the status quo is an important aim of 2016/.”
The exhibition Arita Porcelain Today at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam runs until the 9th of October, with select items from the new 2016/ collections along- side objects from the museum’s permanent collection of Aritaware. Although produced in different times and in different conditions, the presentation illustrates the constant high levels of technical expertise typical of Arita porcelain and brings to light the continual efforts of the Arita potters to sustain their industry, with the past two years having been dedicated to the 2016/.