‘Subtle’ at Japan House explores the possibilities of paper

Paper is fascinating to work with. The material has so many possibilities. It is alive, it breathes, it evolves and alters with time. It can be moulded, manipulated and sculpted to transform from two to three-dimensional objects. Paper has the power to activate and transform our senses. It is a great tool, a canvas, for designers.


'Subtle' at Japan House London © Jeremie Souteyrat


‘Subtle: Delicate or Infinitesimal’ sets out to explore paper’s power to create, inform, seduce, even deceive. This latest exhibition at Japan House London is a captivating show celebrating paper and honouring the value of this seemingly simple material.


Tone of Gravity by noiz © Jeremie Souteyrat


Curated by the chief creative director for Japan House Kenya Hara (also art director of Muji), the exhibition explores the influence of Japanese minimalism on paper art. It is set within the building’s clean and clear deco beauty, featuring work by 15 creators living and working in Japan. They come from a diverse set of disciplines  – art, animation, architecture, fashion, graphic design and literature – each creative introducing their very own unique layer to this paper narrative.


Shishiodoshi by Hara Kenya - a re-imagining of a water feature typically seen in gardens in Japan © Jeremie Souteyrat


On view until 24 December 2018, ‘Subtle’ follows a successful run at the gallery’s sister locations in Los Angeles and São Paulo. The idea originates from the Takeo Paper Show, which began in 1965 in Tokyo as a way of challenging artists and designers to find new potentials for paper. ‘Subtle’ reminds us of the possibilities of paper, highlighting this delicate craft in a contemporary light. It is a fascinating exploration for all those involved in the creative industries.

Words Nargess Banks. Images © Jeremie Souteyrat, Japan House London 


Subtle_ Delicate or Infinitesimal showing at Japan House London 13 November - 24 December 2018_©__Jeremie Souteyrat
< Back

Back to Top