Rossella Menegazzo, author of numerous studies on Japanese photography, graphics and ukiyo-e art, professor at the University of Milan and curator of Japanese art exhibitions, once again invites us to the world of Japanese design. As the co-author of Wa: The Essence of Japanese Design, she approached Japanese design from the perspective of the used materials. This time, as the title suggests – iro (Japanese: colour), we will focus on colours.
The album presents the colour palette traditionally used since the 7th century, initially to denote rank and place in the social hierarchy, and then spreading more widely into different aspects of Japanese design. Each of the two hundred different shades is illustrated with a specific object – from contemporary everyday items, ceramics, examples of furniture, traditional sweets, to 16th-century kimonos. Each colour is accompanied by a short description from which we will learn the history of its occurrences or the cultural context. Which colour appears in The Tale of Genji? What colour best conveys the atmosphere of summer? Which colour is used on the stage of kabuki theater?
Just like Wa: The Essence of Japanese Design, the beautiful cover of the album, fantastic paper and traditional binding of the spine encourage you to admire the two hundred and fifty illustrations on the inside and delve into the world of Japanese colours.