Shiro Kuramata, ‘Rare armchair, from the Piacere coffee shop, Yamagiwa Soft building, Akihabara, Tokyo’, ca. 1988, Phillips
Shiro Kuramata, ‘Rare armchair, from the Piacere coffee shop, Yamagiwa Soft building, Akihabara, Tokyo’, ca. 1988, Phillips

Property from an Important Collection, Tokyo

Phillips would like to thank the Kuramata Design Office for their assistance cataloguing the present lot.

Manufacturer: Ishimaru Co, Ltd, Tokyo, Japan

Yasuko Seki, ed., Shiro Kuramata and Ettore Sottsass, exh. cat., 21_21 Design Sight, Tokyo, 2001, pp. 199, 211
Deyan Sudjic, Shiro Kuramata: Catalogue of Works, London, 2013, p. 359

Piacere coffee shop, Yamagiwa Soft building, Akihabara, Tokyo

About Shiro Kuramata

Shiro Kuramata playfully stretched and skewed tropes of Western design, while combining them with traditional Japanese aesthetics, to produce items of furniture that are surreal, humorous, and often poetic. Kuramata’s Miss Blanche chair (1988), a transparent resin chair flecked with synthetic roses, creates the appearance of a sitter floating on a cloud of blooms. In a design for two chests of drawers, Furniture in Irregular Forms (1970), the stark black-and-white lacquered finish is a nod to the severity of modern furniture, while the undulating shapes capture a more lighthearted attitude. The whimsical spirit of Kuramata’s designs is typical of postmodernism. Kuramata became closely associated with this style in 1981 when he joined Ettore Sottsass’s Memphis Group, an Italian collective that included designers such as Michele de Lucchi, Andrea Branzi, and Nathalie du Pasquier.

Japanese, 1934-1991, Tokyo, Japan, based in Tokyo, Japan

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