Ryuji Mitani: a solo exhibition of wood craft
Ever since we opened Mjolk we have been working towards carrying some wood work by Japan’s most famous wood artisan Ryuji Mitani. If you Google him, it’s likely you’ll find some information about him through our blog since we have been huge fans for so long. We thought there was no hope left when a few years ago Ryuji Mitani decided to stop selling his work through galleries in Japan and focus his efforts on his own 10cm Gallery, painting, writing, the Matsumoto Craft fair, and maybe a solo retrospective here and there.
We were lucky enough to interview Mr. Mitani last summer for Mjolk Volume III (Which is available here, or coming to a book store near you very soon!). During the visit we invited him to do a solo exhibition here at Mjolk and we are very fortunate for his acceptance.
We are now happy to report that we are holding the opening of this exhibition on Thursday July 3rd from 7pm – 9pm, and the public exhibition will run from July 4th – August 10th.
All of the work will be for sale, and Mr. Mitani will be coming to Toronto and be available to meet in person during our opening reception.
Some items that will be for sale during the exhibition:
Wood plates, butter cases, wood cups and cutlery and even handmade sleeves for Chemex coffee pots!
A baby gift set.
Deep hand gouged trays.
Japanese lacquer-ware work including these plum blossom dishes.
Ryuji Mitani set up Persona Studio in 1981 in an effort to create hand-made wooden tableware for everyday life. His leadership in this field inspired a generation of woodworkers and set into motion a new post-mingei art movement called Seikatsu Kogei. In 1985 he set up the Matsumoto Craft fair in an effort to show the handcraft of his fellow artisans, and it quickly became the countries largest craft fair and gave a setting for different artisans to come together and display and sell their work. In 2011 Ryuji Mitani opened 10cm Gallery and cafe in an effort to create more dialogue between consumers and artisans, this gallery uses and exhibits Mitani’s work as well as other notable artisans.
Ryuji Mitani is now considered to be the most famous contemporary wood table- ware maker in Japan, he has written close to a dozen books about craft and has exhibited in countless galleries and museums all over Japan and abroad.