Lossless Toronto: ISSHO Oji Masanori & Studio Prepa
The Japanese language is often thick with metaphors and theatrical flares, and sometimes words do not fully translate into English. ISSHO is a Japanese word meant to convey the feeling or action of working together. This past weekend Mjölk hosted artisan Oji Masanori and glassblowers Studio Prepa.
This was Oji-sans second show at Mjolk, and with him from Asahikawa he brought his new Arita collection of brass, wood and porcelain pieces.
I arrived early to find Oji-san and Mr. and Mrs. Hira of Studio Prepa still placing objects around the showroom. I sampled some Ontario-made saké (made right here in the Distillery District) from a cypress wood bucket while the masters went about their work.
Even though an entire crate of pieces never made it to the shop from Japan, the artists made beautiful displays of their stunning kami wood plates, black urushi coated brass trays, glassware and flatware, was well as a collection of crafts from the city of Asahikawa.
On the record player during the night were classic 1960’s Japanese surf-rock tunes from the likes of The Blue Jeans and Yuzo Kayama. That, along with the sake and great company, put everyone in a festive mood.
Mjölk, located in in the Junction, is Toronto’s preeminent source for simply beautiful Scandinavian and Japanese design. On any given day you’ll be able to find handcrafted pieces using traditional techniques and employing modern innovation and aesthetic. The store often hosts it’s favourite designers. This past Feburuary Ando Masanobu brought this first solo show in North America: “Kita Wou Omou Utsuwa” to the store.
While Mjolk’s owners, Juli Daoust-Baker and John Baker, love international customers (who shop the store online), the couple says they are doing this for Toronto and that is nice to see and feel the cities appreciation like it showed at the ISSHO reception this past Saturday.