Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Kokeshi crazy

Since I've been in Tokyo, I've been to a few shrine sales where antique wares, from teapots to kimonos are sold. I've become aware of the kokeshi dolls that are sold at these sales and how interesting they are in their various forms and decoration. As you can see, I've started my own little collection.Kokeshi are Japanese dolls originally made during the Edo period and sold to people who were visiting the hot springs in the north of Japan. They are handmade from wood and have a simple trunk and an enlarged head. What attracts me to them is the simply painted faces, as well as the floral pattern that defines their kimono.
I love this modern, stylised take on the kokeshi doll by illustrator/designer Mark Giglio at Pen Pencil Stencil.
These ones by Samyii are perfectly kitsch with their bouffant hair-dos and funky outfits.
And these ones by Perach Rafian go to the other extreme in their simple design. They also encompass the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi. This is the idea of accepting beauty that is imperfect. Characteristics of wabi-sabi include asymmetry, simplicity and the suggestion of natural processes.

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