Starting in February 2017, the Boiler Room will host Playmountain East, a year-long series of programs featuring Japanese and Japanese-influenced artists and makers in a pop-up style shop operated by Tokyo’s Landscape Products. The year will include work in a variety of media, including iron, wood, ceramics, and fashion; a spotlight program on regional craft; and a special series on the work of Japanese women artists and artisans.
Acclaimed designer and owner of multi-faceted design firm Landscape Products, Shinichiro Nakahara opened Playmountain in Tokyo in 2000. A tightly curated edit of simple, beautifully hand-crafted objects (mostly created by Japanese artisans), from children’s toys to furniture, Playmountain has gained a significant following and is on the "must see" list for design enthusiasts visiting Tokyo. Heath has partnered with Playmountain several times in the past, including a pop up at Heath Ceramics LA, and the Dashi pop up shop at Heath SF.
May 15–June 3, 2018
Established in 2010 by Satoshi Ono, 5W creates artful unisex clothing. Simple, organic lines are thoroughly considered, forming the ultimate modular wardrobe. 5W is based in northwest Japan in Akita, and continues to imbue the art of dressing with balance and poetry.
June 1, 2018 6–9pm
Yoko Takahashi travels the world and visually documents daily life, capturing common moments across all languages and cultures. She is especially enchanted with Russia and Eastern Europe. Yoko’s focus on color and subtle hues draws out the serenity and emotional beauty of the images. You can find her work in Ontario, and her books of photography, including SAWA SAWA, Georgia On My Mind, and EAST SIDE HOTEL. Yoko relocated to the Bay Area in 2010, and lives and works in San Francisco.
April 14–May 13, 2018
Aulico was founded in Miyazaki, Japan in 2006. They began their journey by making shirts from their indigo-dyed fabric, and since then, have been focused on the process of dyeing and washing. Their work is dedicated to honoring the intrinsically natural process of traditional indigo dyeing, a craft they continuously explore and find new meaning in.
April 20–May 12, 2018
Yuri Shimojo is a Japanese painter working and living in New York and Kyoto. With a background in Japanese traditional performing arts, and time spent in Hawaii and Brooklyn, Yuri’s cultural experiences continue to inspire her work today. Her Sumi and Shu series began in 2000 from her fascination with the inks (sumi is Japanese for black ink and shu for cinnabar ink) and their intricate ties to history, including shamanic rituals around the world. The power between the two colors showcase Japanese aesthetics, a yin and yang balance of stillness and movement, and allow viewers to connect their own culture and heritage to the work.
March 3–April 8, 2018
Glass Works features Studio Prepa, a glass blowing studio run by Katsuhisa and Mizuho Hira. From vases to sculptures, their glass pieces showcase their attention to detail. Katsuhisa and Mizuho enjoy using traditional glassmaking techniques, and challenging the construction of the molten material. Committed to quality and sophisticated design, their work remains simple yet functional, dynamic and bold. This show also includes pieces made in collaboration with Playmountain East.
January 20–February 25, 2018
KAMA-ASA was founded in 1908 in Tokyo by shop owner Minosuke Kumazawa, catering to the needs of chefs ever since. Working with the best craftsmen throughout Japan, they select the finest quality of handcrafted kitchen tools, helping each customer find their destined tools by explaining the unique stories and features behind them. The pride of a craftsman and the sensitivity that goes into handcrafted work, combined with Japan’s ever-growing creativity, all contribute to the spirit of care, quality, and tradition you can feel when using KAMA-ASA products in the kitchen and around the home.
November 17–December 23, 2017
Mina Perhonen is a fashion label based in Tokyo, known for its romantic and timeless design. Japanese textile and clothing designer Akira Minagawa founded Mina Perhonen to create clothing that goes beyond fashion, seeking to retain functionality over the years. His clothing is classic and sustainable, meant to be passed on through generations. Mina Perhonen is Finnish for “my butterfly”, as Akira finds inspiration in the butterfly’s lightness, colors, and variation, qualities reflected in Mina Perhonen’s feminine textiles.
Join the opening on Friday, November 17, 5–8 pm.
July 22, 2017–August 13, 2017
Born in Kagoshima, Japan, Shori Morinaga started out as carpenter and furniture maker, and opened his atelier Crate in 2007. There, he developed a passion for woodturning. In 2010, he met American sculptor Alma Allen in Joshua Tree and soon became his apprentice. Shoji continues to make turned wood objects and custom furniture at Crate, and shows his work around the world, from Playmountain Tokyo and Dieci in Osaka to Tortoise in Los Angeles.
September 29–October 22, 2017
Born in Nigata, Japan, Go Koyama presents wood pieces such as plates, vases and other sculptural objects. He works with black persimmon, chestnut, cherry, and zelkova wood to create sculptural objects, which are sometimes finished with oil, lacquer, wax, and glass paint. His work evokes harmony, peace, and beauty.
In his creative process, Koyama has conversations with the woods. It’s important for him to celebrate the life of the tree as he imbues another life into it. Although growth rings, imperfections, and wormholes are generally considered defects of wood.
Koyama apprenticed with fellow woodworker Shinichiro Tani and began working independently in his own studio in Karuizawa, Nagano in 2010, where he is also well known for his abstract sculptures. He has had numerous exhibitions in Japan and China and now lives and works in Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture.
June 10, 2017 – July 16, 2017
The next in Playmountain’s series on Japanese-influenced artists and makers: TEMBEA canvas bags and SOLS canvas sneakers.
TEMBEA means “to wander” in Swahili, so these canvas beauties made in Tokyo are meant to be your everyday companions. Whether carrying baguettes or biking to work, each bag softens over times and becomes part of your life.
SOLS is manufactured in Kurume, Fukuoka, a city well-known for its rubber industry. Created with a slight inward curve often seen in old canvas sneakers, and a vulcanization process to ensure durability, SOLS delicately expresses the traditional craftsmanship with a new point of view.
A small selection of handmade leather goods from RHYTHMOS will also be featured, made in Japan and crafted for everyday use.
April 21, 2017 – May 14, 2017
Exhibition statement from Shinichiro Nakahara:
”I have been pursuing the work of Japanese and American Craftswomen for several years. Fascinated by the viewpoints presented by their creative activities, I find beautiful the particularly deep involvement I see given to the work. The tradition of Craftsmen in Japan is extensive and has produced fine work, but it has also been based on a certain stoicism. In recent years this has gradually changed along with an increasing number of Japanese Craftswomen who create with great freedom of thought. Seeing not only the work of these Craftswomen, but also their processes, has given me a glimpse into their lives. I had anticipated feeling connected to their perspectives and their pursuit of beauty. I discovered not only did I appreciate the completed object but also the landscape surrounding its creation.”
”We are presenting a total of 10 Japanese female artists — Akiko Oue, Fumi Sako, Hiroyo Masuko, Masae Mitoma, Momoca Usagi, Nutel, Reimi, Rino Akihiro, Tomoko Wada, and Yumiko Iihoshi — who are artists, product designers, ceramicists, metalsmiths, paper artists, illustrators, rug makers, and glass sculptors.”
February 24, 2017 – March 19, 2017
On a Japanese map of the Pacific Ocean, California is located to the east of the Japanese Islands. East is West, and West is East.
Since its inception Landscape Products has been inspired by California: its architecture and design, arts and crafts, music, and films. In other words, we have always been excited by the cultural breeze that blows from there.
This is why we have named our new retail venture in San Francisco Playmountain East. Even though we are across the Pacific from each other, we are close neighbors of heart and mind. Please keep watching kindly over us as we begin our journey "East.”