Why are zakka: goods and things so alluring? And what is it that draws us so much to the stores that sell them? This draw may even exceed that of "new designs." It may be that zakka resonate with people as a symbol of a small measure of happiness built upon a familiarity deriving from their integral status in our everyday lives, the comfort they offer, and the careful attention that has gone into their manufacture. Regardless of how useful they are in our actual lives, people are drawn to zakka and feel the urge to make them part of their own lives. It is true that they are just everyday articles, not costly antiques.
Yet our strong desire to collect them has elements in common with the desire to collect antiques. They exude a sense of how the people that use them live. And we have a natural curiosity about that sense. The people who sell and buy them have a desire to share the perspectives and sensitivities from which zakka are chosen, as well as the flavor of life that zakka engender. It seems to me that zakka have emerged as another category of things that have an allure that is distinct from the allure of design, art, antiques, folkcraft, and handicraft. This is also perhaps one of the reasons that zakka always make us feel nostalgic about times that have passed not too long ago. It occurs to me that they affect emotions associated with relief, always making us feel, "That was good." People have grown weary of new things and are disoriented by the speed at which the times change. This is why zakka bring us a sense of calm. The purpose of this exhibition is to focus on the aesthetics of zakka as things that appeal to us, and to share our thoughts on their allure.
Product designer. Established Naoto Fukasawa Design in 2003.
With thoroughly simple designs of superb beauty of form, Fukasawa has designed products for world-renowned brands from Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia, and Asia, in addition to doing design and consulting work for numerous major domestic manufacturers. His work in design has spanned a broad range of products, from small devices such as wristwatches and mobile phones to computers, computer peripherals, household appliances, daily necessities, furniture, interior items and more. Fukasawa's works, which, through the five senses, bring together people and things, are highly esteemed for the joy they bring to users. From 2010 to 2014 he chaired the Good Design Award Judging Committee. He is a professor at Tama Art University and the director of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum.