Production Cooperation

Collaboration

Collaboration

Projects with creators and makers
that broaden the possibility of craft artisans

Wakabayashi Butsugu Mfg is a maker who has been devoted to making Buddhist altars and fittings for both temples and households since its foundation in 1830. Our history has been supported by traditional craft artisans with extraordinary skills.

As the times have changed, and in this current consumer society, the fields to fully utilize those artisans’ techniques are getting smaller. In light of this situation, we hope to revitalize them and their craft(s) techniques by cooperating with various creative people and manufacturers who we’d never worked with before.

To pass on the techniques that have been handed down through generations, and to increase the opportunities to utilize their technique, Wakabayashi Butsugu Mfg will keep challenging ourselves and create a wider range of works.

Kohei Nawa

Kohei Nawa

Occupation
Artist/Director of SANDWICH Inc./Professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design
Profile
Born in 1975. Currently based in Kyoto. He graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts with a Ph. D. in Fine Art Sculpture in 2003. He establishes “SANDWICH,” a creative platform for production in 2009. He explores the potentiality of sculpture, working with beads, polyurethane foam, silicone oil, and a wide range of other technologies and materials, through his original concept “PixCell.” Nawa's recent projects extend this exploration to architecture and performance, to create both space and art. In 2018, he exhibited his monumental sculpture “Throne” in Musée du Louvre, France, while “VESSEL” - a dance creation developed with French-Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet, is on world tour since 2015.
Links
KOHEI NAWA
Sandwich Inc.

Trans-Sacred Deer (g/p_cloud_agyo)

  • Trans-Sacred Deer (g/p_cloud_agyo)
  • Trans-Sacred Deer (g/p_cloud_agyo)

Shinroku (Sacred Deer) flying into the land of Kasuga on a cloud is one of the most symbolic figures in the art history of Nara. It represents the manifestation of Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto, the deity of the first hall of Kasugataisha shrine main hall, coming from Kashima to Kasuga on a deer. With a motif of the Shinroku of “Kasuga Shinroku Shari Zushi”, which is said to be made around the Kamakura to Nanboku-cho period (1185-1392), “Trans-Sacred Deer (g/b_cloud_agyo)” was made with traditional techniques such as wood carving, Japanese lacquering and gold leaf stamping after creating data on the 3D-technology system. The Shinroku itself also has a cloud-like shape and, on its saddle, enshrines Kaen-Hoju (jewel in flame) placed on the lotus pedestal. As if the Divine servant was called out, it has appeared in this world after a long time.

Year
2020
Size
W1350 × D435 × H1320
Material
Japanese red pine・Glass・Glass beads・Gold leaf・Platinum leaf・Japanese lacquer
Technique
# Buddha carver, # Lacquer painter, # Gold leaf presser
Photo
Nobutada OMOTE | Sandwich

Trans-Sacred Deer (g/p_cloud)

  • Trans-Sacred Deer (g/p_cloud)
  • Trans-Sacred Deer (g/p_cloud)

Shinroku (Sacred Deer) flying into the land of Kasuga on a cloud is one of the most symbolic figures in the art history of Nara. It represents the manifestation of Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto, the deity of the first hall of Kasugataisha shrine main hall, coming from Kashima to Kasuga on a deer. With a motif of the Shinroku of “Kasuga Shinroku Shari Zushi”, which is said to be made around the Kamakura to Nanboku-cho period (1185-1392), “Trans-Sacred Deer (g/b_cloud_agyo)” was made with traditional techniques such as wood carving, Japanese lacquering and gold leaf stamping after creating data on the 3D-technology system. The Shinroku itself also has a cloud-like shape and, on its saddle, enshrines Kaen-Hoju (jewel in flame) placed on the lotus pedestal. As if the Divine servant was called out, it has appeared in this world after a long time.

Year
2020
Size
W1350 × D435 × H1320
Material
Japanese red pine・Glass・Glass beads・Gold leaf・Platinum leaf・Japanese lacquer
Technique
# Buddha carver, # Lacquer painter, # Gold leaf presser
Location
NARA TSUTAYA BOOKS
Photo
Nobutada OMOTE | Sandwich

Ho / Oh

  • Ho / Oh
  • Ho / Oh
  • Ho / Oh

For these sculptures, the Chinese phoenix, which we see in Eastern folklores from ancient times, is used as a motif. First we created a 3D model, then Buddha carvers in Kyoto carved wooden statues, coated them with Japanese lacquer (Urushi) and finished them with gold and platinum leaves. The whole body is aflame, and one of them opens its mouth while the other closes, like Aun(/A-un) Statues. The jewels on their collars are made of camphor from the Meiji Jingu Shrine, and are in the shape of bamboo fruit, which it is said that the Chinese Phoenix likes.

Year
2019
Size
W1320 × D435 × H1350
Material
Japanese red pine・Camphor tree・Gold leaf・Platinum leaf・Japanese lacquer
Technique
# Buddha carver, # Lacquer painter, # Gold leaf presser
Location
Daimaru Shinsaibashi Store
Photo
Nobutada OMOTE | Sandwich
Kaori Akiyama

Kaori Akiyama

Occupation
Product Designer
Profile
Graduated in 2002 from the Design Science Department of Chiba University’s Faculty of Engineering. Worked at ITOKI Corporation on office furniture product planning, design and color scheme development, then joined Dutch design studio Samira Boon. On returning to Tokyo, I established STUDIO BYCOLOR design studio. Recipient of prizes including Japan’s Good Design Award, German Design Award, Germany’s Design Plus, DFA Award and China’s Design intelligence Award. Actively exhibits at international trade shows in Japan and overseas, including the Milan Furniture Fair and Ambiente in Germany. Adjunct Instructor in Chiba university and HOSEI University Faculty of Engineering and Design Department of Engineering and Design.
Links
STUDIO BYCOLOR

inherent-pattern DD:WW

  • inherent-pattern DD:WW
  • inherent-pattern DD:WW
  • inherent-pattern DD:WW
  • inherent-pattern DD:WW
  • inherent-pattern DD:WW
  • inherent-pattern DD:WW

[INHERENT: PATTERN] is a new grain texture designed by STUDIO BYCOLOR. "Tree is a living material" expressed a message. In modern times, people live surrounded by various materials ranging from natural materials such as plants and stones to metals, resins, and inorganic materials. We reexamined the "tree", which has been closely involved in human life since ancient times, and started the experiment from the desire that We want the wood to feel more familiar from everyday. By immersing various hardwood trees for a certain period of time in medicine, it turned out that the original fibrous tissue possessed by the wood itself was exposed. We see the appearance of each facial expressions by locality and material type as "the beauty based on the unique patterns of living things" and develop it to various products ranging from contemporary jewelry, interior accessories and wall clocks.

Year
2020
Size
φ35
Material
Broadleaf tree・Japanese lacquer
Technique
# Lacquer painter
Photo
Shima Koyama
Yoshiki Uchida

Yoshiki Uchida

Occupation
Graphic Designer/Artist
Profile
My time roaming my fathers hardware company converged at an early age with my fascination with insects and animals. While the other children were studying hard or playing, I was at the river catching insects and leeches, or studying animal encyclopedias. Through my work, I hope the viewer will be filled with the same sense of wonder and innocence that filled me as I sat on the bank of the river opening my hand to observe my newly caught insect.
Links
Kanamono Art

Kanamono Art [Meditation]

  • Kanamono Art [Meditation]
  • Kanamono Art [Meditation]

This artwork was born from a collaboration with a gold carver and a metal colorist. On a copper plate, the design of a spider of [my] Kanamono Art is precisely expressed by the metal engraving technique, incised accurately from one hit to another using a [Japanese] chisel. The finishing has given three-dimensional substantiality to it by using the technique of “sulfide coloring”, which makes the surface of the copper plate rough. Mr. Shimada, the gold carver, had a lot of creative passion as an artisan, and even though our specialties are different, it was very inspiring. The session with Mr. Hasegawa, the metal colorist, was rather an intuitive communication, but was very exciting, creative work, as his expression was beyond my expectation.

Year
Undisclosed...
Size
132 × 80cm
Material
Copper plate
Technique
# Gold carver, # Metal colorist
Location
Agora Gallery (NY)

Kanamono Art [Fake]

  • Kanamono Art [Fake]
  • Kanamono Art [Fake]
  • Kanamono Art [Fake]

This is a collaborative work with a lost wax casting artisan. The complex shape was made as one unit by utilizing the feature of lost wax casting, a casting method from ancient Japan. It directly gives [us] the dignified impression of metal. Throughout the session with Mr. Yamazaki, the lost wax casting artisan, he and I were not able to predict what would come out in the end. Every intense and exciting decision that was made at each moment and the instantaneous communications between myself and the artisan, who considers my intentions and guides us to even better directions, have created this artwork which feels as if it was once alive like a fossil.

Year
Undisclosed...
Size
W300 × H300 × D100
Material
Bronze
Technique
# Lost wax casting artisan
Location
Agora Gallery (NY)
Kiyomi Suzuki

Kiyomi Suzuki

Occupation
Architect/Designer
Profile
Born in 1981, Suzuki went to France in 2005 and worked as an architectural designer at Ateliers Jean Nouvel in Paris for 4 years. After that, she studied carbon fiber at Ishimaru Co., LTD. for 8 years and created many products such as a 960 gram chair, “CHERCHE MIDI”, and the reception counter and benches “Vénus” at the Shiseido Ginza Building. She moved to Kyoto in 2017 and has been exploring designs that draw on the possibility and charm of various materials.
Links
NÉ UN

Métamorphose

  • Métamorphose
  • Métamorphose
  • Métamorphose

This chair is like a butterfly of light emerging from darkness when nature and artificial resin are encountered. With Japanese lacquer, the natural resin, as the adhesive of this encounter, it was born when the ultrathin 0.1 micron gold leaf was pressed onto the chair made of carbon fiber compound and artificial resin. Carbon fiber is so thin that human hands can’t feel its texture. Japanese gold leaf is even thinner than that, so it catches the fine asperities of the carbon fiber stitches and etches it like scales. This chair is the embodiment of amazing works of artisans, which I wouldn’t have known without the chance to see how Buddhist altars are made. What I was fascinated with while the artwork was being made and finished is how the jet black chair looked like it was emerging into a butterfly wearing shiny golden scales. The gold leaf was integrated into the chair so well that it looked almost like carbon fiber skin, and at the moment when darkness and light, like two sides of a coin, became one, the 1kg chair became a butterfly, beaming light from darkness, and flew high away.

Year
2019
Size
W390 x D490 x H774
Weight
1kg
Material
Carbon fiber・Gold leaf・Japanese lacquer
Technique
# Gold leaf presser
Photo
T.MINAMOTO
Hitoshi Makino

Hitoshi Makino

Occupation
Interior Designer/Product designer
Profile
1970 Born in Tokyo Japan.Graduated in Product Design course Salesian Polytechinic Tokyo.After going through an in-house designer at KOKUYO, moved to Milan Italy in 2005.Joined the architectural design studio "Lissoniassociati" as a senior designer for various projects, furniture design for Important Italian brands, interior design for Hotels, Shops, Restaurants, Villa, and other properties projects.Moved back to Japan in 2016. Work on many ongoing design projects domestic and internationally.​ Prizes : IF Design Award(Germany), Good Design Award(Japan), Premio Vico Magistretti(Italy), IFDA2017 (Japan). Exhibition : Salone del Mobile / Milan design week(Italy), Paris design week(France), Designart Tokyo(Japan), Asahikawa Design week(Japan)
Links
HITOSHI MAKINO Design Co.,Ltd.

chanderier "WA"

  • chanderier "WA"
  • chanderier "WA"
  • chanderier "WA"
  • chanderier "WA"

The lighting fixture “WA Chandelier” was revealed at DESIGNART 2018, and went on sale from SANZ Corporation the following year. With “harmony” as its theme, all parts of WA Chandelier consist of rings and circles. It has both simplicity and luxury, and the symbolic inner objects are handcrafted one by one the artisans of Wakabayashi Butsugu Mfg in Kyoto, who has manufactured and repaired the cultural properties and Buddhist altar fittings of many historic temples, a feat that has required very high quality work since ancient times. I hope you enjoy the beautiful harmony and atmosphere of our WA Chandelier.

Year
2018
Size
φ1500・φ1000・φ500
Material
Copper plate・Gold leaf・Japanese lacquer
Technique
# Ornamental metal worker, # Gold leaf presser, # Lacquer painter
Location
DESIGNART TOKYO 2018
Distributor
SANZ corporation
Photo
YUSUKE KAWAGOE