31 May 2017 - 17 Sep 2017
Exhibition: "Too Pretty to Throw Away: Packaging Design from Japan"
The Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw, Poland, an ASEMUS member, presents an exhibition entitled "Too Pretty to Throw Away: Packaging Design from Japan", which can be visited until 17 September 2017.
Background and themesJapanese design is well-placed in terms of global recognition. Today it is not only a thriving industry, but also an export that serves the role of ambassador for Japanese culture abroad. In this context Japanese design is interpreted as both the epitome of pre-modern traditions and, at the same time, a vanguard of contemporary global design. The exhibition "Too Pretty to Throw Away: Packaging Design from Japan" explores today’s packaging industry and asks: How can the two ideas co-exist? The exhibition is structured around three themes:
- “Artistic Japan” shows the objects accumulated by the nineteenth-century collectors of Japanese material culture, which provided an inspiration for the rise of the phenomenon of Japonism, a fascination with things Japanese. These objects continue to play a pivotal role in the global perception of Japan’s material culture today. However, this perception overlooks significant socio-historical and technological transformations that the packaging conventions underwent in Japan during the last hundred years.
- The introduction of foreign technologies and materials has resulted in dazzling diversity of designs presented in the following theme of “The Alchemy of the Everyday”. The objects on display are selected from the award-winning entries to the biennial packaging design competition held by the Japan Package Design Association.
- Finally, visitors can enter the world of “Embellished Intentions” represented by the gift-packaging practices of the Mitsukoshi Department Store, one of the most exclusive establishments in the country. Gifts function as one of the major forms of consumption in Japan and are of particular importance for the revenues of the department stores. Their main purpose is to embellish the commodity they contain, to bring to the surface the intention behind the gift, while mystifying the commercial implications of the market in which they are embedded.