Good design is what we do best and, as such, when we pick our favourite pieces we tend to focus on the object itself, as opposed to the air around it. If that sounds a little abstract, the latest collaboration between Japanese Photographer Tamotsu Fujii and designer Naoto Fukasawa looks set to bring things into focus.

See more from the Outline exhibition

Featuring a range of over 100 of Fujii’s photographs, the exhibition takes Fukasawa’s distinctive design oeuvre as its subject. At first a little off-key and difficult to define, the photographs are intended to expose Fukasawa’s iconic designs in an entirely different light.

Fukasawa, best known for pieces including B&B Italia’s Grand Papilio armchair and the Vitra Chair Edition 2007, has allowed Fujii to photograph his work for the past few years, encouraging him to capture ‘the outlines of my work that everyone knows yet cannot see’.

Again, the concept is vaguely intangible, but Fujii’s distinctive agenda attempts to draw attention to the outline of design objects in order to recontextualise them. With their unique, fuzzy landscape aesthetic, the photographs add a new element to the otherwise inanimate objects – capturing the aura of light and air around them, thereby bringing them - somewhat conversely - into sharper focus.

Whilst the show may be a bit of a brain-bender, the images themselves are stunning - casting a new light onto iconic design pieces ranging from Fukasawa’s renowned ‘wall-mounted CD player’ for Muji to his Thonet ‘1131’ extension table.

Taking shape in Issey Miyake’s Tokyo-based 21_21 Design Sight Centre, the photographs will reside alongside a life-size version of Tamotsu Fujii’s photographic studio. Featuring a rolling exhibition of Fukasawa’s furniture, the show is viewed with the help of Fujii’s specially designed ‘outline revealing viewfinder’.


21_21 Design Sight
9-7-6 Akasaka



81.3 3475 2121

Harriet Lloyd-Smith was the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.