MONO & TALKS In Onland Craft Market
MONO JAPAN is an organisation in the Netherlands. Since 2016 we have been holding an annual fair in Amsterdam, the Dutch capital, specialising in Japanese craft and design products, “MONO JAPAN – Japanese Craft and Design”.
We started out with a core of several Japanese who had been living in the Netherlands for a long time, each of whom had been active in different disciplines. We have been introducing many products and brands that fit the contemporary European lifestyle.
The starting point for MONO JAPAN was our aspiration to introduce authentic design and craft products we have discovered in Japan to the people in Europe.
As the organisers of MONO JAPAN FAIR, we also reflected deeply on our own roots and culture through introducing Japan’s unique craftsmanship. Furthermore, with every exhibition, we met many artisans from all over Japan, as well as craftspeople whose traditional manufacturing methods have been passed down from generation to generation.
What we noticed through this experience is how important the century-old knowledge and technology of manufacturing methods and raw materials are, and that craftsmanship that does not pursue efficiency should become widely recognised as “value” in Europe and throughout the world.
In today’s world that believes in the importance of SDGs, we also believe in the immense possibilities for sustainability and circular economy in the traditional craftsmanship of Japan.
Registered as a cultural foundation in the Netherlands since November, 2019, MONO JAPAN, with the future possibilities of craftsmanship as its driving force, acts to connect Dutch creatives with Japanese craftsmanship.
Within the grounds of Tokyo’s new landmark, Tokyo Torch, MONO JAPAN and its collaborators will hold an exhibition at the Onland Craft Market entitled “MONO & TALKS”, showcasing international creative cooperation in the craft industries. While MONO JAPAN is based in the Netherlands, this will be our first-ever exhibition in Japan.
There are many people, such as artists and designers, living in the Netherlands who work in the creative industry. As the importance of SDGs increases in the society, so too is the number of designers with growing interest in traditional Japanese craftsmanship.
By bringing together Dutch creatives and the people, craft-producing areas and traditional arts of Japan, MONO JAPAN makes possible a craftsmanship that benefits from each side’s strong points. MONO JAPAN also creates a place for mutual learning and stimulation. We believe that international collaboration is the best way to enhance appreciation for Japanese craftsmanship in this world of ours where many different kinds of peoples live according to a variety of lifestyles. We also believe it is an opportunity for innovation to occur.
We would also like to show how people in Europe respond to traditional Japanese objects and techniques of craftsmanship, and share their ideas with Japanese craftspeople concerning European manufacturing, which includes the concepts of sustainability and circularity that are now a driving force in Europe.
In order to carry out these activities, thorough networking is essential. The two previous Artist in Residence programs which MONO JAPAN hosted provided the opportunity for a rewarding collaboration.