1. White
    Kenya Hara

    “White” is not a book about colors. It is rather Kenya Haras attempt to explore the essence of “White”, which he sees as being closely related to the origin of Japanese aesthetics – symbolizing simplicity and subtlety. The central concepts discussed by Kenya Hara in this publication are emptiness and the absolute void. Kenya Hara also sees his work as a designer as a form of communication. Good communication has the distinction of being able to listen to each other, rather than to press one’s opinion onto the opponent. Kenya Hara compares this form of communication with an “empty container”. In visual communication, there are equally signals whose signification is limited, as well as signals or symbols such as the cross or the red circle on the Japanese flag, which – like an “empty container” – permit every signification and do not limit imagination. Not alone the fact that the Japanese character for white forms a radical of the character for emptiness has prompted him the closely associate the color white with emptiness.

    13.5 x 19,5 cm, 5¼ x 7¾ in, 64 pages, 4 illustrations, hardcover (2010)

    ISBN 978-3-03778-183-8, e
    ISBN 978-3-03778-182-1, g

    €25.00 / $30.00 / £20.00

    €25.00 / $30.00 / £20.00

    Kenya Hara

    Kenya HARA, Graphic Designer
    Born in 1958. Graphic designer Kenya Hara served as the director of the Tokyo Fiber exhibition. He specializes in designing not objects but facts or events, such as identifications and communications. He produced the exhibition “RE-DESIGN_Daily Products of the 21st Century” in 2000, and through it he showed that the most marvelous sources of design were to be found in the context of daily life. In 2002, he became a member of the advisory board of MUJI and also took over as art director. In 2004, he produced the exhibition “HAPTIC_Awakening the Senses”. With this exhibition he demonstrated that within the contemporary context of design, in which designers tend to find their motivations spurred on by high technology, in fact vast resources for creation lay dormant in the human senses. He has directed work related to national events, such as the programs for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Nagano Olympics, and the official posters of the Aichi Expo 2005. Based in Tokyo, he has been seeking future communication resources he finds within Japanese culture and technology. His book Designing Design has been translated into several Asian languages, and in 2007 he largely rewrote it for translation into English, for publication by Lars Müller Publishers, Switzerland. At present he is the representative of Nippon Design Center Inc. and Professor of Musashino Art University.

    “This meditation on the complexity of simple things is wonderfully clear and inviting to read and transports you miles away from the sometimes overwhelmingly fast, multilayered, complicated reality of working life as a designer.”
    Grafik Library, A Guide to Essential Reading, autumn 2009

    “Today, we seem to be experiencing a rationalisation
    of the senses. The art of refinement
    has been half-forgotten, and attentiveness to
    detail, absorption, and slow engagement are
    neglected. In his captivatingly light text on the
    concept of “white,” Kenya Hara counters this
    tendency. His personal journey through concepts,
    objects, and practices such as emptiness,
    paper, and the Japanese tea ceremony
    not only opens up a field of heightened nuance
    and refinement. By melding everyday observations
    with reflections on Japanese aesthetics
    and sensitivity, he also amplifies the need to
    critically revise our understanding of the senses.
    This important little book thus challenges
    the simplifications that inform much presentday
    thought concerning what can be felt,
    experienced, and emotionally negotiated.”
    Olafur Eliasson on 'White'