Wood-carved netsuke on exhibit

As kimono culture flourished during the Edo period (1603-1868) in Japan, netsuke, or small carved ornaments, were created as toggles to secure small personal items such as money pouches and inrō (medicine containers). 

Netsuke by Hiroaki Nakanishi
From functional pieces used to prevent those little containers from falling, it evolved into small but highly creative carvings. Today, classic netsuke have gained international acclaim as remarkably detailed carvings. 

Some netsuke enthusiasts and carvers have managed to keep the tradition alive in Japan. 

The Japan Foundation Manila, in collaboration with Ayala Museum and Ayala Malls, brings this piece of art to the country via a traveling exhibition, dubbed “Contemporary Wood-carved Netsuke,” opening at Capitol Central in Bacolod City on May 1-26 and at Greenbelt in Makati on July 1-21. 

Auspicious Sign By Motomasa Kurita
“Netsuke is unique in that daily commodities have evolved into art form in the course of time,” said Japan Foundation director Hiroaki Uesugi. “I believe viewers can enjoy and appreciate the delicate work of art created by Japanese craftsmanship.” 

The crafts exhibition will display 65 works by contemporary Japanese netsuke carvers and artists. It is open to the public for free. 

To complement the exhibition as well as celebrate the Philippine-Japan Friendship Month in July, two renowned netsuke artists and experts from Japan, Tadamine Nakagawa and Asuka Kajiura, are coming to give lecture and demonstration about this distinct and historical art form. 

Topics: Japan , Art , Japan Foundation Manila , Contemporary Wood-carved Netsuke
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