'The harshness of electricity is thus transformed through the magic of paper back to the light of our origin – the sun – so that its warmth may continue to fill our rooms at night.' Isamu Noguchi
This is the Akari 3A by Isamy Noguchi. Noguchi intended his art to serve both practical and social functions. The Akari Light Sculptures are considered icons of 1950s modern design.
In 1951 Isamu Noguchi began to design the Akari Light Sculptures, works characterised by weightless luminosity. He gave them the name 'akari', which means 'light' in Japanese, connoting both illumination and physical lightness. During a trip to GIfu (Japan) he sketches his first two Akari Light Sculptures During. Gifu is a town known for its manufacture of paper parasols and lanterns. Over the following years he created a total of more than 100 models, consisting of table, floor and ceiling lamps ranging in size from 24 to 290 cm.
Each luminaire is meticulously crafted by hand in the Ozeki workshop, a traditional family-run company based in Gifu. In a first step, bamboo rods are stretched across the original wooden forms designed by Noguchi. Washi paper, derived from the bark of the mulberry tree, is cut in strips to fit the size and shape of the lamp and then glued to the bamboo ribbing. After the glue has dried, the wooden form is removed and the shade can be folded.
The Akari Light Sculptures are packed for shipping or storage in flat boxes developed especially for the luminaires.
To guarantee the authenticity of each product, the Akari Light Sculptures are marked with a stylised sun-and-moon logo, which also resemble the corresponding Japanese characters.