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Hiroshi Sugimoto + Kyoto Artisans:

A Tiddlers’ School   

Hiroshi Sugimoto has attracted worldwide attention by the diverse range of his activities, from architectural design to theatrical productions of joruri (the traditional Japanese puppet play). His varied activities may be motivated by the optimism for Japanese culture that he has felt throughout the many years living in the United States. For this exhibition, Sugimoto directed two prominent traditional craftsmen in Kyoto, Shuji Nakagawa of Nakagawa Mokkougei (traditional woodworking) and Takahiro Yagi of Kaikado (a maker of tea caddies), both of whom created individual works of contemporary art using their refined skills. The exhibition A Tiddlers’ School was the result of a challenge that took them more than a year to realize.  


While the KUAD exhibition was still being prepared, the light sculptures that Nakagawa and Yagi were planning to show were first exhibited in London and New York as part of the group show MINGEI: Are You Here? The set of tea ceremony utensils (a kettle, a waste-water dish, a water jar, a tea caddy, a kettle-lid rest, a tea ladle, and incense container) created for the KUAD show by the two artisans (under the supervision of Sooku Sen of the Mushanokoji Senke school) were used afterward in a tea ceremony held at Mondrian, a glass tearoom designed by Sugimoto and directed by Le Stanze Del Vetro, as part of the Venice Architecture Biennale.  


The construction of the Sugimoto-esque space for A Tiddlers’ School was done by Superfactory, based on Sugimoto’s ideas.    




Date: April 2 – August 28, 2014

Venue: Entrance Lounge, 1F Ningenkan, Kyoto University of the Arts  

Organizer: Kyoto University of the Arts  

Cooperation  Sugimoto Studio, Odawara Art Foundation, Gallery Koyanagi, WATER AND ART  

Space design direction: Hiroshi Sugimoto  

Space installation: Super Factory (Makoto Sano)  

Pedestals: Setsuo Takamuro (Takamuro Tatami Kogyosho), Atsushi Torii (Yamamoto Kogyo)  

Graphic designer: Rie Shimoda (da.)  

Curator: Kayo Tokuda (WATER AND ART)    


Hiroshi Sugimoto “RESERVOIR 1”  


Materials: Cypress (sculpture), nickel silver (hoop), glass and cypress (water bowl), stainless (metal net), LED  

Size: H210.5 xφ20cm (max.)  

Fabrication: Shuji Nakagawa (Nakagawa Mokkougei)    



Hiroshi Sugimoto “RESERVOIR 2”  


Materials: Tin (sculpture), nickel silver (hoop), glass and copper (water bowl), iron (pedestal), LED  

Size: H210.5xφ13cm  

Fabrication: Takahiro Yagi (Kaikado)    



Hiroshi Sugimoto “The Kyoto Tea Set”  


Supervisor: so-oku Sen (Successor of Mushakouji Senke)  

Fabrication of pot, pitcher and container:  Shuji Nakagawa (Nakagawa Mokkougei)  

Materials: Sawara (a kind of cypress), silver  

Fabrication of caddy, incense container, rest, and ladle: Takahiro Yagi (Kaikado)  

Material: Tin    



Shihoko Fukumoto “Kasumi, Tanabiku, Curtain”  


Material: Hemp  

Size: 200 x 1200cm  

Collection: Odawara Art Foundation    


Photo: Osamu Watanabe

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