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Details & Cataloguing

Design

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London

Ubunji Kidokoro
ARMCHAIR
bamboo, brass
77.5 x 60.4 x 74 cm (30  1/2  x 23  3/4  x 29  1/8  in.)
designed 1937
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Provenance

Private collection, Japan
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Literature

'Mostra d'arte in Giappone', domus, no. 269 April 1952, p. 41
Mary McLeod, ed., CHARLOTTE PERRIAND: An Art of Living, New York, 2003, p. 105, figs 18, 20 for a related example

Catalogue Note

At the suggestion of a young Sori Yanagi, the son of Soetsu Yanagi, founder of the Mingei (folk crafts) movement, Charlotte Perriand was invited by the Department of Trade Promotion under the Imperial Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Japan in 1940. Her official role was to act as consultant and advisor, aiding in the discovery of new and innovative ways to promote Japanese furniture to the West. Throughout her travels in Japan, she visited with local craftsmen, most notably at the Seccho research centre in the Tōhoku region which focused on designs using materials including rush, straw and bamboo.

Inspired by her surroundings and the work of regional designers, Perriand used these materials as a creative springboard. Selections of her findings, local Mingei works as well as her own designs were exhibited together in 1941 at the Takashimaya department store in Tokyo. The present model was designed by Ubunji Kidokoro while he was working for the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo, three years before Perriand’s arrival. Kidokoro’s example reflects Alvar Aalto’s cantilevered armchair, model no. 31, designed in 1931, tracing the influence of western design in Japan prior to Perriand’s visit. Perriand was aware of Kidokoro’s chair and used his example as inspiration for her own designs.

Design

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London