Finding Joy in the Unification of Form and Function
In his work, Naoki Sakai looks for more than just beautiful form, he also designs with the idea that his creations will actually be used.
For the longest time, Japanese people have sought not just usefulness, but also beauty in craftworks. Artisans continually strive to achieve the unity of use and beauty that people seek, and, in doing so, they obtain a sense of fulfillment.
This relationship between user and artisan has nurtured a deep artistic spirit that beautifully links such craftworks with the people who use them. As an artisan, Sakai is very pleased to be able to participate in this relationship.
After graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts with a major in metal hammering, Sakai moved to Kanazawa as a base for his activities. As a starting point, he entered Kanazawa Utatsuyama Kogei Kobo, an institution dedicated to the preservation and development of Kogei (crafts) in Kanazawa. There, he further improved his technique and sense of beauty.
The Hokuriku region, in which Kanazawa is located, is the center of Japanese craftsmanship and a treasure house of crafts and culture. Located at the heart of Kanazawa, Utatsuyama Kogei Kobo is famous for training artisans and artists who create sophisticated works. Sakai was inspired by such an environment which spurred on his own creation.
Essentially, the majority of craftworks are made from natural materials. The fact that they can be restored repeatedly and used over long periods of time makes them well suited to SDGs goals.
Traditional handicrafts are not things of the past, but are now attracting the attention of the younger generation as new and innovative items of interest. Craft techniques are a modern technology and a treasured asset handed down through generations of ancestors.
1973 Born in Gunma, Japan
Education and Work Experience: