【有楽町】ATELIER MUJI Gift: what design offers us – The Keiji Nagai CollectionFriday, 26 January 2018 - Sunday, 15 April 2017
MUJI started its journey from being a specialty store with a point of view on life aesthetics. Design has varied functions and effects. Moreover, it seems that design has the power to connect objects to objects, objects to people, and people to people.
In this exhibition, “Gift” themed products are specially selected from Keiji Nagai’s vast product design collection that enriches our everyday life. In the last 50 years, he has travelled all around the world from his home in Fukuoka. Using his hands, eyes and feet, he has been carefully gathering each item to be included in the collection. For this exhibition, only a small part of his entire collection is on display from his own residence as well as from 4 separate warehouses (since consolidated into 2). It covers a wide range of product genres from furniture, home décor, electrical appliances to welfare products and books.
The Nagai collection is filled with beautiful yet functional objects, with each item telling a story that answers the fundamental question of what design means to human beings and to their lives.
Here in this limited Atelier MUJI venue, we have framed a small but special space and time that Nagai has been creating over a period. It is a place where we could offer a thoughtful “Gift” to each other, and where these objects help us to be in touch with designers and ordinary people all over the world.
We will be pleased if you appreciate this exhibition as our modest gift to you.
– Me and my collection –
In 1966, I bought Sori Yanagi’s “Butterfly chair” as my first object after leaving school. Starting from this Japanese chair, 2 years after that I bought my first foreign chair, “Superleggera” by Gio Ponti, the Italian architect. Now, more than half a century later, my chair collection has grown to over 1000 models, and for other genres I have lost count.
I am often asked “why are you collecting objects?”. First, it is as if objects ask me to notice them. “Look at me” they seem to say – in other words, I get startled by them. An encounter with an object is similar to one with people. You notice something different to start with, and then feel a comfortable after-effect in their presence. My motivation for collecting has been to see objects like this, to know what they are and to share them with other people.
This exhibition is a humble gift to you from my collection.
I am reluctant to say that my collection is piling up in my home and warehouses. My hope is to open a salon-like space where I can share these objects with many more people one day. I wish that I could have the space to enjoy it with you in the future, a place where we could think about the process of creating wonderful objects.
Keiji Nagai (Interior designer)
Born in Karatsu, Saga in 1948. Founded his design studio “K and design associates” in 1982 after working for Iwataya Interiors in Fukuoka. Widely known inside and outside of Japan as a modern design collector, and for contributing to cultural exchange. Awarded the “Furniture prize” from Denmark. Frequently exhibiting in modern design exhibitions.
- Friday, 26 January 2018 - Sunday, 15 April 2017
- MUJI YURAKUCHO 2F ATELIER MUJI
- Period: Friday, 26 January 2018 - Sunday, 15 April 2017
Time: 10:00 – 21:00 (Same opening hours as MUJI Yurakucho Store)
Venue: MUJI YURAKUCHO 2F ATELIER MUJI
Planning collaborators: Keiji Nagai (Interior designer), Kaoru Tashiro (Design journalist)
Cooperation: AGC Studio (AGC ASAHI GLASS), Japan Institute of Design Promotion
Graphic design: Shogo Kishino (6D)
Planning and Management: Household Division / Planning & Design Creation Office, Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd. and ATELIER MUJI at MUJI Yurakucho