The Korea Herald


Harmonizing old and new Japanese designs showcased


Published : Feb. 20, 2011 - 17:42

    • Link copied

In Japan, the traditional concept of harmony called “wa” has taken on a new approach by reconciling opposing concepts in order to synthesize them into something greater.

This concept is the foundation for contemporary Japanese designs in product manufacturing.

The Japanese Embassy along with the Korea Foundation are holding an exhibition that brings together this harmony under one roof at a very important time.
Japan Ambassador Masatoshi Muto with to a replica of the Nissan GT-R. (Yoav Cerralbo/The Korea Herald) Japan Ambassador Masatoshi Muto with to a replica of the Nissan GT-R. (Yoav Cerralbo/The Korea Herald)

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Korea Foundation.

“I find it especially meaningful that our first celebratory event has been made possible through the close cooperation with our long-standing partners, the Japan Foundation and the Japan Embassy,” said Kim Byung-kook, president of the Korea Foundation.

The exhibition titled “Wa: The Spirit of Harmony and Japanese Design Today,” held at the Korea Foundation Cultural Center, is planned by four leading Japanese design theorists ― Hiroshi Kashiwagi, Masafumi Fukagawa, Shu Hagiwara and Noriko Kawakami ― and features a total of 161 representative works.

Ever since Masatoshi Muto took up his post as Japan’s top envoy in Korea, Muto has said several times that he is the last Japanese ambassador for the past 100 years between the two nations as well as the first Japanese ambassador to welcome in the new 100 years.

“My mission is to serve as a bridge between the two countries in order to build a new era for Japan and Korea in the new 100 years,” he said.

By design, the Wa exhibition, which runs until March 19, attempts to bridge both cultures while introducing possibilities for collaboration in the industrial design sector.

Muto commented that he is very impressed by the rapid development of Korean industrial design and by the innovations of Korea industrial artists who are creating some of the most impressive designs in the world.

“I think it’s good to exchange these together,” he said.

For more information concerning the Center, visit or call (02) 2151-6500.

By Yoav Cerralbo (