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Sold at Auction: Shiro Kuramata

(1934-1991)

Biography

Shiro Kuramata (29 November 1934 – 1 February 1991) is one of Japan's most important designers of the 20th century.

Kuramata was born in 1934. He was part of a generation of Japanese creatives born just before the outbreak of Second World War, who are considered to have transformed the way Japan was viewed by the outside world.

This generation included Kuramata's friends and collaborators who were famous members of the Japanese design and architecture circle at the time, including Issey Miyake, Yokoo Tadanori, Isozaki Arata, and Tadao Ando.

Kuramata studied architecture at the Tokyo Technical College before 1953 and was trained as a cabinet maker at the Kuwasawa Institute of Design in Tokyo in 1954, after which he worked for multiple companies such as the furniture producer Teikoku. In 1965, he established Kuramata Design Office in Tokyo and in 1981 received the Japanese Cultural Prize for design.[3] From the mid-1960s onwards, Kuramata began exploring materials and forms through his unique designs. His work merged popular culture, Japanese aesthetic concepts, and the Western avant-garde.

At the end of the 1980s, Kuramata was invited by Ettore Sottsass to be a founding member of the Italian design collaborative Memphis Group.

In 1990 the French government awarded Kuramata the distinguished Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of his outstanding contribution to art and design.
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