Shiro Kuramata, 1934-1991, was the finest and most influential designer in modern Japanese history. A true poet of creative vacancy, he introduced abstract and minimalist elements to western Bauhaus Modernism and integrated this with his oriental cultural perspective. His de-materialized designs are in a state of surreal and perpetual suspension, yet they are sensually present. What he enjoyed about his favorite material, perspex, was its ambiguity: cold as glass yet warm as wood. He cast roses in perspex so that they would flower eternally. His furniture crafted in metal seems almost to be floating; it emanates sensory imaginative power through its lightness, texture and shape.
An example of the enormous acclaim Kuramata received both at home and abroad is the distinguished Ordre des Arts et des Lettres he was awarded by the French government in 1990. During his creative life Kuramata produced more than 180 furniture forms.
As an endorsement of the high regard in which Kuramata is held amogst the connoiseurs of the art world, as "Miss Blanche" was sold at Christies, London for #(Stg.)46'000 in their Chair Sale October 1997, lot 108. Also, a "How High the Moon" two seater was sold for #(Stg.)12'650 at Bonhams London in May 1998. This ranks Kuramata amongst the most desirable of artists/designers of the 20th century.
1934 Born in Tokyo, Japan
1956 Graduated from Kuwasawa Insititue of Design
1965 Established Kuramata Design Office
1970 Design of furniture in Irregular Forms
1972 Mainichi Industrial Design Award
1981 Joined Memphis in Milan, Italy. Japan Cultural Design Award
1985 Design of Homage to Hoffman "Begin the Beguine"
1986 Design of steel mesh chair "How High the Moon"
1988 Design of acrylic/artificial roses chair "Miss Blanche"
1990 Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
1991 Passed Away