Italy and Japan are two countries rich in history, culture and craftsmanship. It’s no wonder that over the centuries they have established fruitful relationships in the arts and many other fields, with Venice playing a prominent role in nurturing these 'marvellous liaisons'. Here, a selection of contemporary Italian master artisans designated MAM (Maestro d’Arte e Mestiere, the equivalent of Japan’s National Living Treasures) present work that represents this relationship. Go on a fascinating journey to discover the talent, originality and fertility of a powerful dialogue between two cultures, founded on the beauty of knowledge and craftsmanship.
The Italian artisans whose work is selected here pay tribute to the ongoing dialogue between their country and Japan, and between the finest Italian craftsmanship and the Japanese culture. Their exquisite artworks are inspired by Japanese decorative motifs, techniques, materials and formal approaches, skilfully interpreted in the name of excellence (something called makoto by Japanese masters). Through papier mâché masks, silverware, jewellery, glassware, mosaics, metal sculptures, woodcarvings and much more, these artisans honour a cultural exchange that stretches back five centuries and still renews itself day after day.
The Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d'Arte is a private non-profit organisation founded by Franco Cologni in Milan in 1995. The foundation’s initiatives are primarily focused on young people and the training of the next generation of artisans. It supports and carries out a number of cultural, scientific and educational programmes, including the development of an important collection of publications related to craftsmanship, an innovative apprenticeship scheme, and a title to recognise and celebrate master artisans.Read moreShow less