The rise of Japan and a Note on Art Collecting.

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12 May 2016

Japan has a fascinating culture that is sometimes over looked in the West. Filled with uplifting and enchanting words that do not exist in the English language. But further to the deeply moving history of the country there is an ever-prevalent artistic scene emerging!

Collectors are thought of as excessively rich individuals spending money, but if this were the case it would not have half the allure that it does. The key elements of any art collection are attractiveness and intellectual respectability (beauty and brains) coupled with love and admiration.


According to Dr. David Khalili, (“Japonisme and the Rise of the Modern Art Movement: The Arts of the Meiji Period”) a collector from small beginnings who has built up a collection worth billions of dollars, a rule of collecting is to build a collection with an identity. He goes on to say that focusing on a specific area and era can do this. Another tip of his would be to find an area that is underappreciated and through purchasing it and advertising it give it the appreciation that it deserves.

It is interesting to note that Vincent van Gogh once wrote to his brother, “In a way all my work is founded on Japanese art.”


japan picture

The Japanese have a culture based around craftsmanship and this inspires their sense of aesthetic. This can be seen in contemporary culture in the beautiful bento boxes that they work tirelessly to create. Focusing on what is right in front and ignoring anything ugly in the overall picture, such as the garish signage around the city.


Bento box: Anna the Red, of the popular movie character Totoro with the Cherry Blossoms


bento box kitsa sakurako spa

Bento box: Kitsa Sakurako, Spa Bento

Design in Japan is focused on simplicity and devoid of any frills. This is an interesting comparison when considering the avant-garde architecture that can be found nestled within more drab buildings; take the Prada shop as an example.