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Isamu Nocuchi

Akari Light Sculptures

Akari 3A and 10A. Photo: Kevin Noble. ©INFGM / ARS
Isamu Nocuchi
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Video: The making of Akari at Ozeki & Co. Courtesy of Vitra.

In 1951 Isamu Noguchi visited the town of Gifu, Japan, known for its manufacture of lanterns and umbrellas from mulberry bark paper and bamboo. Noguchi designed the first of his lamps that would be produced by the traditional Gifu methods of construction. He called these works Akari, a term meaning light as illumination, but also implying the idea of weightlessness.

The fabrication of Akari in Japan at Ozeki & Co. since 1951 follows the traditional methods for Japanese Gifu lanterns. Each Akari is handcrafted beginning with the making of washi paper from the inner bark of the mulberry tree. Bamboo ribbing is stretched across sculptural molded wood forms. The washi paper is cut into strips and glued onto both sides of the framework. Once the glue has dried and the shape is set, the internal wooden form is disassembled and removed. The outcome is a resilient paper form, which can be collapsed and packed flat for shipping.

With the warm glow of light cast through handmade paper on a bamboo frame, Isamu Noguchi utilized traditional Japanese materials to bring modern design to the home. Like the beauty of falling leaves and the cherry blossom, Noguchi wrote, Akari are “poetic, ephemeral, and tentative.” And he was fond of saying, “All that you require to start a home are a room, a tatami, and Akari.”

Table

Akari 1A
Out of stock
Akari 1N
Out of stock
Akari 2N
Out of stock
Akari YA2
Out of stock
Akari 1AD
Out of stock
Akari 1AS
Out of stock
Akari 1AR
Out of stock
Akari 1AT
Out of stock
Akari 1AG
Out of stock
Akari 1AV
Out of stock
Akari 1AY
Out of stock
Akari VB-13T
Out of stock
Akari 20N
Out of stock
Akari 22N
Out of stock
Akari 24N
Out of stock
Akari 26N
Out of stock
Akari 2A
Out of stock
Akari 2A UKAI
Out of stock
Akari 3A
Out of stock
Akari 3AD
Out of stock
Akari 3A UKAI
Out of stock
Akari 4A
Out of stock
Akari 6A
Out of stock
Akari 7A
Out of stock
Akari 7AD
Out of stock
Akari 9A
Out of stock
Akari 9AD
Out of stock
Akari 4N
Out of stock
Akari 5N
Out of stock
Akari 1P
Out of stock
Akari 2P
Out of stock
Akari XP1
Out of stock
Akari 2X
Out of stock
Akari 3X
Out of stock
Akari 5X
Out of stock
Akari UF1-C
Out of stock
Akari 1A
Out of stock
Akari 1N
Out of stock
Akari 2N
Out of stock
Akari YA2
Out of stock
Akari 1AD
Out of stock
Akari 1AS
Out of stock
Akari 1AR
Out of stock
Akari 1AT
Out of stock
Akari 1AG
Out of stock
Akari 1AV
Out of stock
Akari 1AY
Out of stock
Akari VB-13T
Out of stock
Akari 20N
Out of stock
Akari 22N
Out of stock
Akari 24N
Out of stock
Akari 26N
Out of stock
Akari 2A
Out of stock
Akari 2A UKAI
Out of stock
Akari 3A
Out of stock
Akari 3AD
Out of stock
Akari 3A UKAI
Out of stock
Akari 4A
Out of stock
Akari 6A
Out of stock
Akari 7A
Out of stock
Akari 7AD
Out of stock
Akari 9A
Out of stock
Akari 9AD
Out of stock
Akari 4N
Out of stock
Akari 5N
Out of stock
Akari 1P
Out of stock
Akari 2P
Out of stock
Akari XP1
Out of stock
Akari 2X
Out of stock
Akari 3X
Out of stock
Akari 5X
Out of stock
Akari UF1-C
Out of stock
Akari UF1-FF
Out of stock
Akari UF1-H
Out of stock
Akari UF1-O
Out of stock
Akari UF1-S
Out of stock

Ceiling

Akari 15A
By Request
Akari 16A
Out of stock
Akari 17A
only 1 left
Akari 50EN
Out of stock
Akari 70EN
only 7 left
Akari 95EN
Out of stock
Akari 24A
only 3 left
Akari 26A
Out of stock
Akari 40DL
Out of stock
Akari 30A
Out of stock
Akari 45A
only 9 left
Akari 55A
Out of stock
Akari 75A
Out of stock
Akari 120A
By Request
Akari 30D
Out of stock
Akari 37D
Out of stock
Akari 45D
Out of stock
Akari 55D
Out of stock
Akari 60D
Out of stock
Akari 75D
only 5 left
Akari 100D Ceiling Light
By Request
Akari 30F
Out of stock
Akari 40F
Out of stock
Akari 50F
Out of stock
Akari 60F
Out of stock
Akari 70F
Out of stock
Akari 95F
Out of stock
Akari 125F
By Request
Akari 30P
only 2 left
Akari 31N
only 6 left
Akari 32N
Out of stock
Akari 33N
Out of stock
Akari 15A
By Request
Akari 16A
Out of stock
Akari 17A
only 1 left
Akari 50EN
Out of stock
Akari 70EN
only 7 left
Akari 95EN
Out of stock
Akari 24A
only 3 left
Akari 26A
Out of stock
Akari 40DL
Out of stock
Akari 30A
Out of stock
Akari 45A
only 9 left
Akari 55A
Out of stock
Akari 75A
Out of stock
Akari 120A
By Request
Akari 30D
Out of stock
Akari 37D
Out of stock
Akari 45D
Out of stock
Akari 55D
Out of stock
Akari 60D
Out of stock
Akari 75D
only 5 left
Akari 100D Ceiling Light
By Request
Akari 30F
Out of stock
Akari 40F
Out of stock
Akari 50F
Out of stock
Akari 60F
Out of stock
Akari 70F
Out of stock
Akari 95F
Out of stock
Akari 125F
By Request
Akari 30P
only 2 left
Akari 31N
only 6 left
Akari 32N
Out of stock
Akari 33N
Out of stock
Akari 33X
only 7 left
Akari 35N
Out of stock
Akari 36N
Out of stock
Akari 40XP
only 4 left

Floor

Akari 10A
Out of stock
Akari 10D
Out of stock
Akari 12A
Out of stock
Akari 13A
Out of stock
Akari 14A
Out of stock
Akari 21N
Out of stock
Akari 23N
Out of stock
Akari 25N
Out of stock
Akari 27N
Out of stock
Akari UF3-DL
Out of stock
Akari UF3-H
Out of stock
Akari UF3-L6
Out of stock
Akari UF3-Q
Out of stock
Akari UF3-S
Out of stock
Akari UF3-U
Out of stock
Akari UF3-XN
Out of stock
Akari UF4-J1
Out of stock
Akari UF4-L5
Out of stock
Akari UF4-L6
Out of stock
Akari UF4-L8
Out of stock
Akari UF4-L9
only 9 left
Akari UF4-L10
only 6 left
Akari UF4-31N
only 7 left
Akari UF5-32N
Out of stock
Akari UF5-33NW
Out of stock
Akari BB3-33S
By request
Akari BB3-YA1
By request
Akari BB3-X3
By request
Akari BB3-75DL
By request
Akari BB3-75DD
By request
Akari BB3-70XN
By request
Akari BB3-70FF
By request
Akari BB3-55DD
By request
Akari BB3-55FF
By request
Akari UF3-FF
Out of stock
Akari 10A
Out of stock
Akari 10D
Out of stock
Akari 12A
Out of stock
Akari 13A
Out of stock
Akari 14A
Out of stock
Akari 21N
Out of stock
Akari 23N
Out of stock
Akari 25N
Out of stock
Akari 27N
Out of stock
Akari UF3-DL
Out of stock
Akari UF3-H
Out of stock
Akari UF3-L6
Out of stock
Akari UF3-Q
Out of stock
Akari UF3-S
Out of stock
Akari UF3-U
Out of stock
Akari UF3-XN
Out of stock
Akari UF4-J1
Out of stock
Akari UF4-L5
Out of stock
Akari UF4-L6
Out of stock
Akari UF4-L8
Out of stock
Akari UF4-L9
only 9 left
Akari UF4-L10
only 6 left
Akari UF4-31N
only 7 left
Akari UF5-32N
Out of stock
Akari UF5-33NW
Out of stock
Akari BB3-33S
By request
Akari BB3-YA1
By request
Akari BB3-X3
By request
Akari BB3-75DL
By request
Akari BB3-75DD
By request
Akari BB3-70XN
By request
Akari BB3-70FF
By request
Akari BB3-55DD
By request
Akari BB3-55FF
By request
Akari UF3-FF
Out of stock

Learn more about the history of Akari, one of Isamu Noguchi’s most successful efforts “to bring sculpture into a more direct involvement with the common experience of living.”

Read More
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