Raised in the tumult of Japan’s industrial powerhouse, the 11 men and women profiled in A Different Kind of Luxury have all made the transition to sustainable, fulfilling lives. Based on Andy Couturier's popular articles in The Japan Times, this lushly designed volume has a wealth of stories about real people who have created an abundance of time for contemplation, connecting with the natural world, and contributing to their communities. In their success is a lesson for us all: live a life that matters. Read an excerpt of the book here or here. Read a review of the book here, here, or here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Winter Color Palette and a Different Photographer

The wash basin at Atsuko and Gufu's
As a book A Different Kind of Luxury has a particular look and feel in its design layout and photos.  From a book designer’s perspective, this is good because it gives the reader a feeling of unity and solidity so that he or she can sink into the experience.  But, as we know, reality has a thousand different angles.  In this posting, I’d like to present the work of a young photographer who also got a chance to visit Atsuko and Gufu Watanabe, and Osamu Nakamura back in 1999.  I just came across these photos, taken more than ten years ago by a woman, a girl of 17 at the time, Hatsumi Yano.  You’ll see that they have a distinctly different feel than those in the book.  But to my mind, that’s a plus.  The world has a lot of different aspects, and a camera lens can pick them up.  These photos were taken in mid-winter, and have that color palette.  I was then, and am still, very impressed by Hatsumi’s work.

The spice rack at Atsuko and Gufu's

The fire pit in the middle of the floor
at Nakamura's 

Ceramic work by Gufu Watanabe

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