With author Hannah Kirshner’s original illustrations and a collection of objects described in the book WATER, WOOD, AND WILD THINGS, this exhibition brings the material culture of a Japanese mountain town to the Gallery at Ace Hotel Brooklyn.
Turned wooden cups, charcoal, ganpi paper, saké, and mountain vegetables are among the things that define the town of Yamanaka Onsen, in Ishikawa prefecture. Yamanaka’s meijin and shokunin (experts and master craftspeople) draw on the town’s 1300 year history, braiding ancient traditions with their modern lives and individual creativity. Hannah Kirshner spent years alongside these artisans and artists, farmers and foragers, masters and makers, learning how the things they make weave together into the fabric of the local community.
For this exhibition, Kirshner curated a selection of made and found objects with photographer Mika Horie, sculptor Shinichi Moriguchi, and woodturner Takehito Nakajima. Tradition, notes Nakajima, is not something from the past but something we are creating all the time.