Gallery tonoto - DAMDAM

Gallery tonoto

At a time when interest in handmade artisanal products is growing as a response to the impersonal (and at times, arguably exploitative) culture of mass production, we feel grateful to call Japan home where the country's artisans are on an endless pursuit of perfection in their inherited craft.

In Kyoto, we visited gallerist Take san's beautiful space, a tatami-covered old house punctuated by exposed raw beams, natural light, and exquisitely handcrafted pieces from artists curated by tonoto. Here, he talks about finding beauty in everyday life and his favorite places in Kyoto.

京都では、美しい空間、梁、自然光、そしてトノトの武さんによって集められたアーティストの精巧な手作りの作品が飾られた、畳の古い家を訪れました。 ここでは、日常の美しさや京都のお気に入りの場所を見つけることについて語っています。


Before 2015, I worked in design at a design office, but as a hobby, I often bought pieces from a shop called Utsuwa Note in Saitama prefecture. There was a bowl with a rich texture that looked like a jewel even though it was made of soil. When Utsuwa Note opened a Tokyo branch, I went from being a regular customer to their branch manager in 2016, and began to be fully involved in this industry. After a year and a half, I opened my own gallery in Kyoto.


I would like to propose beauty that we can be in contact with in everyday life. Most galleries are housed in an inorganic white cube glass case which is more about 'worshipping' beautiful objects than living a life together. I chose an old folk house because I wanted to pursue the beauty of harmony overflowing with texture and style while being reminiscent of the goodness of ancient Japan.


We are involved with many artists, but Wei Chen, a teapot maker in Keitokuthin, and Mikiko Kayama, a calligrapher, are two people who were particularly deeply involved last year.


Rather than being a standalone craft item, I think that any item can exert its potential depending on the situation such as the style of the meal.


In Kyoto, some of my restaurant recommendations are Godanmiyazawa and Jikimiyazawa where you can have a wonderful Japanese experience and Kuroa, a bakery near Tonoto.



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