Can a copy be creative? Craft in Japan

Ise Grand Shrine, which is completely re-build every 20 years

Ise Grand Shrine, which is completely re-build every 20 years

The Japanese concept of dentō kōgei ( ‘traditional art crafts’) recognises the practice of reproducing classic works as an ideal of ‘formative expression’. By contrast, the studio craft movement of the West celebrated originality. Does the reverence for the copy in traditional Japanese culture inhibit its entry into modern craft?

Two articles in issue 3.1 cover this question:

  • Kida Takuya ‘Traditional Art Crafts (Dento¯ Ko¯ gei): From reproductions to original works’
  • Christine Guth ‘The multiple modalities of the copy in traditional Japanese crafts’

Join our guest bloggers to consider ways in which the process of re-making can be a meaningful activity in itself.

2 thoughts on “Can a copy be creative? Craft in Japan

  1. I think that creating a reproduction piece is absolutely art. Not only is is art but to take something and reproduce it the right way takes talent. wood crafters through the years have reproduced tables, benches, everything and you cant tell me that is not art. Another form of art that gets reproduced are movies. How many times has someone made a movie or a play about Romeo and Juliet and every time it was art.

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