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Hotai, 2020

Wood, quartz, brass & LED

Madera de maple, cuarzo, latón, LED

Large

46 x 20 x 31 cm | 18.1 x 7.8 x 12.2 in

Medium

36 x 16 x 28 cm | 14.2 x 6.3 x 11 in

Culture and nature in Japanese design have a complementary relationship, to the point of homology. Precisely, Hotai, the name of this lamp, means “complement”, a singular structure in which three elements (wood, quartz, and light) coincide to create an incomplete shape nonetheless aesthetically pleasing. The principle of fukinsei, or unbalance, alludes to the absence of symmetry in the natural world, where the absolute formal precision that every element has, be it the curve of the wood, the mineral sphere, or the artificial projection of light, would not exist. 

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It is through design that a bridge is built between the deliberate, ideal action of culture and the chance, unequal action of nature. This complement constitutes a circuit between both: to the sphere (whose interior is, however, completely unbalanced) follows the wooden curve (whose circularity remains incomplete) and finally a lightbulb whose illumination returns to the sphere. Nevertheless, the dominion and straight character of the rays of light is denied by the inside of the quartz, which refracts them, fragmenting their direction in uncontrollable, unforeseen manners.

In this sense, the manipulation of maple follows a traditional technique called yakisugi, in which the wood is burned to make it more resistant, highlighting its natural veins. The culture-nature relationship, therefore, is revealed as complementary, where the action of human beings highlights that of nature, whether in the patterns of the wood or the mineral, and where natural action highlights the beauty of the manipulation of materials by human beings.