From the Aesthetics of the japanese tea ceremony to the lavish art of the elites, the first chapter introduces the most important Japanese aesthetic concepts and design principles that have inspired Japanese artists over time.
Written by Patricia J. Graham (Ph.D. in Japanese Art History) the book approaches Japanese design in a scholarly manner.
Then, the second chapter deals with the cultural parameters of Japanese design such as the symbiosis or art and religion. Japanese art wouldn’t be the same without the unique culture of refinement and aesthetic beauty omnipresent in Japan.
Finally the third chapter presents key actors in the discover and popularization of Japanese art and design to the western world. Among them were scientists, philosophers, art collectors and avid travelers who explored this fascinating country.
I enjoyed my reading of this book on Japanese design. I learned a lot, for this book contains a lot of scholarly sourced information on art and design from Japan. However I did not feel I was the target audience, with no formal education in arts. In that sense it may not be the best book for neophytes of Japanese culture.
Despite being aimed at the well-informed, the book contains many high quality images of some of the best examples of Japanese art and design that I really enjoyed learning about. My first reading made me want to to learn more on the topic and I’m sure will have changed the way I look at Japanese art. In that sense this book has, I think, fulfilled its purpose.
Disclosure : The book Japanese Design : Art, Aeathetics & Culture was provided by Tuttle publishing for review. There are no commercial agreements between GaijinGoJapan.com and the latter.