Place: Tokyo, Japan
In collaboration with: Seihachi Tanaka
Join is the results of our collaboration with Mr. Tanaka – a master of Tategu – the traditional craft of Japanese wood joinery. Join consists of a series of three space-dividers. In each piece two lined frames, representing the humble integrity inherent to the craft, are visually merged to create a moment that deviates from the conventional Tategu aesthetic, and introduces angles and shapes that are not commonly used in the craft. Because the ‘merged’ element within each piece diverges from the traditional process and the conventional aesthetic, the screens become a natural division in the interior.
Each piece is made from Hinoki (Japanese Cypress), an elegant and pleasantly scented wood that is highly rot-resistance and does not require any additional oils or waxes. Hinoki is the most luxurious wood used in the craft of Tategu.
The three screens in the Join series are available in a limited edition of 8 pieces each and are all handcrafted by Mr. Tanaka in his workshop in Tokyo.
Mr. Tanaka’s work, and the other works we were exposed to, made a deep and lasting impression. We found the process, the extreme skill and accuracy required by the craft fascinating. We were also inspired by the personal touch each Tategu master applies to his work. Every piece requires a variety of different tools that are often custom made by the craftsman to address a specific task.
There is a hidden dialog between the Tategu master and the work he creates – there is a reason for every step, a story behind every pattern.
Our challenge manifested itself in developing a project that was innovative yet still honored the traditional aspects of the craft.