This artwork is the first project for Discover Japan, a Japanese magazine which has been editing the subject of Japanese culture and tradition. Having been based only in Japan, this project forms part of the promotion behind Discover Japan’s newly launched boutique in Paris. They decided to collaborate with architects and invest the cost of advertisement into creating an artwork that would act as a cultural contribution to the city. This caught the interest of the Maison de la Culture du Japon a` Paris (MCJP), the Japan Cultural Institute in Paris, and the project was finally realized on the facade of the MCJP building.
This work is a reconstruction of the landscape created on Japanese dinner-tables by the ceramic dishes called minou-yaki. The 6m heigh facade of the building is covered by a fabric surface with 282 integrated minou-yaki, as if it were a huge table standing up vertically. The ceramic dishes are fixed in the fabric to give the impression that the dishes are floating, but are fully detachable in order to be able to resell them at the boutique after this installation.
The pattern created by the distribution of dishes is based on the essence of the Japanese dinner-table. French cuisine, and more generally Western cuisine, presents various food types on a single dish. But the characteristic of Japanese cuisine is composed of many different dishes, with each one containing just one food type. The layout of the French
dinner-table is thus able to follow an obvious and beautiful order. The Japanese dinner-table, however, appears to not follow any particular order. But for the Japanese, the composition made by dishes of different sizes, forms, and colors does have a logic: it narrates the meal, its setting and the company. This difference becomes more obvious when seen from above. This artwork, by struggling against gravity, expresses vertically what is usually horizontal and connects the two cultures.