Masanori Umeda - KYOBAI, Japanese Art and Culture London Wednesday, April 2, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    M. Dietz and M. Mönninger, Japan Design, Cologne, 1992, p. 55; B. Radice, Memphis, London, 1985, pp. 80 – 81

  • Catalogue Essay

    Umeda was one of three Japanese designers, alongside Kuramata and Isozaki, invited by Memphis to create a piece for their first exhibition. In his drawing Umeda gave four alternative uses for the ‘Tawaraya': 1. As a shrine for reflecting nulla (anything), cielo (heaven, sky), tistezza (sadness), vita (life). 2. As a platform to celebrate gioia (joy), cerimonia (ceremony), festa (holiday), stagione (season). 3. As a conversation area with activites of banchetto (banquet), dialogo (dialogue), godimento (enjoyment), sapienza (wisdom). 4. As a bed for notte (night), amore (love), sogno (dream), cuore (heart/life). For Memphis, Masanori Umeda produced some of his most iconic work adopting the humour and symbolism of the Memphis culture while commenting on the industrial city culture of his home country of Japan.Tawaraya bitingly comments on the new ‘free-style' design, as well as on the struggle to survive in the newly overcrowded Japan.TheTawaraya Boxing Ring became synonymous with the Memphis group following the iconic photo of the design team in the ring.



designed 1981

Printed plastic laminate-covered wood, lacquered wood, chrome-plated metal, tatami mat, fabric, opaque glass.

198 x 280 x 280 cm. (78 1/8 x 110 1/4 x 110 1/4 in) fully extended.

Manufactured by Memphis, Italy. From a small series.

£15,000 - 20,000 

KYOBAI, Japanese Art and Culture

3 Apr 2008, 6pm