The theme is “Iro: Colors”. In Japan, there is a color culture that enjoys the slight difference of color shading and light/dark by combining different colors. It is a unique and sophisticated culture with distinctive aesthetic values. Many traditional colors are dull and somber because most of them are a reproduction of the colors that exist in nature. Among such colors, the vivid 7 colors, namely, Shiro (while), Shu (vermilion), Kin (gold), Moe (green), Kuro (black), Kon (dark blue), and Murasaki (violet), had special meanings in daily life. This time, the visual arts were created with the attention on these colors.
MOE (Yellowish Green) : Japanese kimonos are worn to reflect the seasons. In the spring, bright colors (especially Moegi) and floral kimono patterns are worn. Moegi, a color rooted deeply in Japan’s past, expresses the joy of the end of the winter season and renewal of life in the hills and fields.
JUNKO KITANO ( Photograph & Design ) HITOSHI SAGASEKI ( Creativedirect ) TAKASHI FUKUSHIMA ( Web )
Murasaki ( Violet ) : The name “murasaki” is derived from the fact that dyes had been made from shikon (lithospermi radix). Shikon was difficult to grow, and so it was prized. Violet was defined as the color representing high status, in ancient China, Roman Empire, and Japan when it adopted ritsuryo (historical law system). In Kan-i junikai (Twelve level cap and rank system) established by Prince Shotoku, violet was the color of the crown of the highest class called daitoku.
Zoran Zarre ( Photograph & Design )Akiko Takizawa ( Model & Design) Takashi Fukushima ( Web ) Hitoshi Sagaseki ( Creative Direct )
SYU (Vermilion) : Vermillion a vivid color with important historical meaning and a long history of use as a mineral pigment. It contrasts sharply with the color of India ink used in texts and drawings that are printed or copied. The ancient vermillion used in visuals is an elegantly frosted dark red.
YOSIKO NAKANISHI ( Paint ) KIMIO TAKEYAMA ( Photograph ) HITOSHI SAGASEKI ( Creativedirect ) TAKASHI FUKUSHIMA ( Web )m
SHIRO (White) : It is often said that “the color white scours away the seven defects”. In the Heian period, it was popular for noble women to daub white powder on their faces to make their skin look white. It is said that this is the root of the use of white makeup in Kabuki and by the Geisha.
TETSUYA NIIKURA ( Photograph ) YUKO MIZUNO ( Makeup ) HITOSHI SAGASEKI ( Creativedirect ) TAKASHI FUKUSHIMA ( Web )
KURO (BLACK): A glossy black texture is important for Japanese utensils and furniture. Jet-black polish has long been used in traditional crafts and so on. In addition, due to the degradation of its adhesive, India ink that has been dried over many years spreads well. The ink gives a sense of three dimensions and the variations in its color come out beautifully.
AKIHIKO TAGAYASU ( Photograph ) HITOSHI SAGASEKI ( Creativedirect ) TAKASHI FUKUSHIMA ( Web )
KIN (Gold) : It was often used in the Momoyama period, which gave rise to a dazzling culture rich with pomp. Pictures were painted with luxurious colors on top of gold backgrounds made with fine gold gilding on partitions and folding screens. Gold clouds were often used as motifs.
MASAMI ADACHI ( Photograph & Design ) HITOSHI SAGASEKI ( Creativedirect ) TAKASHI FUKUSHIMA ( Web )