Selecting the beauty found in the everyday through minimalistic aesthetics
With its beautiful landscape, famously known as one of Three Scenic Views of Japan, Matsushima is also a land of spiritual significance, being a location of esoteric training in the medieval period. An important Zen temple and building for viewing the moon can be found in this historic town, which has enchanted people including Matsuo Basho and Albert Einstein with its beauty. Shokado is a Japanese sweets shop nurtured in the Japanese aesthetic and Zen atmosphere of Matsushima. Unique products the owner carefully selected will travel to Europe and be exhibited in Paris, Antwerp, and London. Enjoy designs that embody the concept of “less is more,” selected as part of the theme of “the final destination for minimalists around the world” and products that are carefully made, making the most of their material, representing the value of Fueki Ryuko—the coexistence of constant change and unchanging essence.
On Japanese Aesthetics
"Small things are all beautiful," wrote Sei Shonagon, a female writer, in her Makura-no-Soshi (pillow book), known as the earliest essay writing in Japan. Small children, toolboxes for dolls, small floating leaves of lotus... The asthetics of finding beauty in ordinary, small thing. Since ancient times, as in Zen Buhddism of Hakuin, tea ceremony by Sen-no-Rikyu, and haiku poems by Matsuo Basho, Japanese people have expressed refined beauty, where "sophistication and innocence" coexist. Such Japanese minimalism, "aesthetics of subtraction," has been handed down to contemporary Japanese design.
On Restarting Setsugekka Project
To convey Japanese aesthetics of subtraction, we organized a pop-up shop in Antwerp, Belgium on February 8-9, 2020. Thankfully, we received a very enthusiastic reaction from people in Antwerp (the video below is from that occasion). With positive responses, we were planning to move ahead with this project, yet COVID-19 changed the world and we had to shelve the project. Yet as 3 years have passed and the world is restarting from the impact of COVID, we are restarting the Setsugekka project.
With stronger Zen element than the last time, we are organizing a small exhibition to convey "aesthetics of subtraction" characterized by the phrase of less is more. The exhibition Setsugekka: "Less is More" in Japanese Everyday Design" will be held in Paris, Antwerp, and London in January 2023.
Find out more about the exhibition here.