When we think about Japan, the first thing that springs to mind is often associated with technology and innovation. However, we are leaving aside the five islands that form this complex country which have a cultural wealth of traditions full of beauty and mystery, many of them directly related to craftsmanship. This is an intense and interesting country that intrigues and attracts the West with whom there is a more and more fluid communication from the business world to literature and art. That tune is featured in the exhibition Essence by Sanserif Creatius, Japanese inspiration on contemporary Valencian craftsmanship, where the work of twenty artisans with the design team of Sanserif Creatius is collected in order to express through objects the affinities that exist between these cultures oriented to Levante that each day see the rising sun: Japan and Valencia.
Apart from obvious elements, such as the consumption of rice, the love of rich fabrics, the use of the fan or hair combs, the Japanese culture has a long tradition in the art of ceramics, porcelain or glass, among other disciplines. Moving away from these connecting elements, designers and artisans have developed new items based on the respect for tradition and craftsmanship techniques while evoking the Japanese influence on items through graphical decorations, hybridization techniques or direct inspiration on cultural aspects and both traditional and contemporary cultural aspects too.
Thus, for example, the language of the fan has been updated to bring it closer to the younger public and tourists, by punching messages on the rods. What is more, jewels have been made as well based on the land where D. O. Valencian wines are grown and the traditional Japanese kimono -yukata- it has been recreated as well through traditional fabrics used by indumentaristas in dresses of the festival of Saint Joseph in Valencia, called Las Fallas. Apart from this, Japanese techniques has been recreated, such as the origami, raku-yaki; elements and Japanese traditions have been adapted, such as the tea ceremony or the spring festival of Hanami, which announces the departure of the Japanese cherry blossom, or sakura, reinterpreting in objects based on ceramic, porcelain, glass or bone rush materials, among other options.
To conclude with, more than twenty projects that range from jewellery to kitchen utensils going through fashion and decoration accessories pay tribute to the creativity of craftsmanship in both cultures. This counts on the help of varying national and international organisms, such as the Japan Foundation, the Spanish Foundation for the Artisan Innovation (Fundesarte), the G.D. Trade and Consumer Affairs of the Generalitat Valenciana, or the Cultural Valencian Association of Japan, among others. Of course, renowned brands and professionals in the sector have made this possible too, such as Cartoné, DeFerro, Di-albani, DoManises, Enrique San Antonio, José Marín, Limoceramics, María José Cañada, Marifé Navarro, Marín Lloret, Mónica Blanco, Payá+Stessens, Salvador Martí, Sara Sorribes and Truffles Martínez, among others.