The Akari Light Sculptures (1951) by Isamu Noguchi are a series of luminaires, handcrafted from traditional washi paper by Japanese artisans. ‘The harshness of electricity is thus transformed through the magic of paper back to the light of our origin – the sun.’ (Noguchi)
Production of the Akari Light Sculptures
Each Akari Light Sculpture is meticulously crafted by hand in the Ozeki workshop, a traditional family-run company based in Gifu, Japan. This film provides a brief insight into the complex fabrication of the luminaires designed by Isamu Noguchi.
In 1951 the Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi began to design the Akari Light Sculptures, a group of works handcrafted out of washi paper that eventually comprised over 100 luminaires – table, floor and ceiling lamps. He chose the name 'akari' for these objects, a word that means 'light' in Japanese, connoting both illumination and physical lightness.
'The harshness of electricity is thus transformed through the magic of paper back to the light of our origin – the sun – so that its warmth…
The oeuvre of Japanese-American artist and designer Isamu Noguchi is unusually multi-faceted, ranging from the fine arts to industrial design. Since 2002, Vitra has produced re-editions of his designs in cooperation with the Isamu Noguchi Foundation in New York.