"Shapes of iki chic in traditional souvenirs"

Photographic exhibition to rediscover the beauty of Taito City’s souvenirs

This exhibition pursues the appeal of traditional souvenirs from the districts of Ueno and Asakusa in Taito City-commonly known collectively as shitamachi-and uncover why these souvenirs have survived the test of time and continue to be loved today,in an attempt to interpret the little recognized value of traditional souvenirs from a design standpoint. 29 companies from the Taito City Gifts and Souvenirs Association have each handpicked their finest souvenirs, collaborating with the Tokyo University of the Arts to visualize them from a modern perspective and rediscover their hidden beauty and charm through photographic images. The traditional iki aesthetic does not make a pretentious display of eccentricity in its chicness, which clearly differentiates it from many souvenirs seen today. It tickles the sensibilities of modern people, who are so often amused by the superficial, but at the core of its shape is the true nature and skill of the craftsman, its lifestyle design born of the unique way of life of the common people in Japan’s shitamachi


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