One of the most sought-after releases at this year's Salone del Mobile, the Arita 2016/ collection tells the tale of a 400-year-old tradition of porcelain making and anticipates a prosperous future for this ancient craft. An ambitious cross-cultural project initiated by Saga Prefecture and led by Teruhiro Yanagihara and Scholten & Baijings, it brings together 16 designers from Europe, America and Japan to work with ten potteries in Arita.
The commercial and creative bond between Arita and the Netherlands began in 1658, when Japanese porcelain was first exported to the West by the Dutch East India Company. Today, the Rijksmuseum holds the biggest collection of historic Aritaware in Europe. Following the Milan show, the exhibition ‘Arita Porcelain Today’ opened in the Asia Pavilion of the museum in Amsterdam, where it will run until 9 October. Here, a curated selection of Arita 2016/ is juxtaposed with the museum's permanent collection to illustrate this unique co-development through the ages.
In addition, the Arita House has been established in Amsterdam to strengthen the historic ties between Japan and the Netherlands and to promote contemporary Aritaware. Located next to the Rijksmuseum in a historic 1925 building, the 645 sq m space has been renovated by Scholten & Baijings, with renowned Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf commissioned to craft the courtyard gardens. The main building showcases the designs together with the production processes and the Japanese influences behind the collection; a conference room will accommodate discussions, lectures, workshops and tea ceremonies. A small hut next to it houses SHOP/SHOP, which stocks Aritaware and other Saga Prefecture produce.
In addition is a two-storey apartment, designed to host guests from Arita as well as other visiting creatives. It is adorned with Scholten & Baijings’ vast collection of appealing designs, including lighting created for Moooi, furniture for Moroso, bedding for HAY, editions for T.E. and more. The 2016/ collection will be available for purchase from November.