The Noguchi Museum Shop presents six rare models of Akari light sculptures designed by Isamu Noguchi in the early 1950s. Produced by their original manufacturer Ozeki & Co., Ltd. in Gifu, Japan, all are tabletop scale and feature lacquered bamboo collars (wa), directly relating them to more traditional forms of the Japanese lantern but with Noguchi’s signature departures. Five of the six Akari feature colorful, abstract patterns silk-screened onto the mulberry bark (washi) paper.
These early designs for Akari were first shown in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura, in 1952, and at the Chuo Koron Gallery, Tokyo, in 1954. In the decades following, these particular models became available only in limited quantities in Japan and France, until now, as The Noguchi Museum expands its offerings to showcase the entire range of what remains in production of Noguchi’s iconic light sculptures.