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Cultural Embassy



Kyoto-based product designer and creative director of 2016/, Teruhiro Yanagiharais in Amsterdam to further his project 2016/, celebrating the pottery industry of the small town Arita, in the Saga Prefecture, Japan. The Japanese delegation includes the project manager and website manager.

Around 1650 VOC started the export of Arita porcelain to Europe. After peaking in the 1980's, the Aritayaki industry dwindled. Now, it is given a new lease of life by the activities around the jubilee year Arita 2-0-1-6. The jubilee project is supported by the Dutch embassy in Tokyo and embraces the opportunity to deepen the economic and cultural relations between the Netherlands and Japan.


Primary aim of the project is to develop 16 new series by European designers, together with 16 Arita pottery producers. These will be presented at the 2016 Milan Design Week. Design partner in the Netherlands are Scholten & Baijings.

How did the partnership with designer duo Scholten & Baijings come about?
Seven years ago I met Scholten & Baijings at the Milan Design Week and introduced them to the furniture brand Karimoko New Standard, of which I was Creative Director. For 1616/Arita, I invited them to develop a new line. This is Colour Porcelain, mixing Asian craftsmanship with European culture.

What will happen?
The last visit of a Saga delegation was 6 months ago. Apart from working on the 16/Arita porcelain project, we want to expand on this to make it wider cultural exchange with the Saga Region. So this visit is about exploring more possibilities to further our relationship with people from the cultural field. We will meet e.g. Menno Fitski, curator East-Asian Art at the new Rijksmuseum, and the Dutch Culture foundation.