New York: Cooper-Hewitt Museum, 1979. 1st Edition. Slim oblong folio, publisher's coated white stiff paper wraps printed in black.
Catalog for a multi-media exhibition dedicated to the Japanese concept of ma, directed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. Ma, the experience of space and time as conjoined phenomena, is a commonplace notion in Japanese culture without a direct western parallel. It derives from the ancient demarcation of space to be occupied by the coming and going of the kami, or gods, and in turn informs all aspects of architecture and design: "The Japanese idea of space always involves movement for the special perception of its nature, as in the crossing of a garden by carefully arranged stepping stones, or a prescribed way of walking through a tea house to create the greatest awareness of its elements...These concepts are carried into the broadest kind of philosophy, covering everything from the perception of physical surroundings to the evanescence of life" (New York Times). The exhibition, which originated in France, was held at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum (April 3 - May 27, 1979), and coincided with the Japan Today Festival, a series of events sponsored by the Japan Society celebrating Japanese art and culture. It encompassed architecture, sculpture, photography, stage design, installation art, costume, and more, with works by numerous artists and designers, including Isozaki, Miyake, Shinoyama, Yukio Futugawa, Kohei Sugiura, Jiro Takamatsu, and others. "It is a difficult show, which takes a bit of work to understand, and then it rewards the viewer with the unfolding of unfamiliar and infinitely intriguing ideas. If possible, it would be good to get the handsome and informative catalogue in advance, or at least, to read it before that second, or third, visit. Because this is the kind of thoughtful display that opens the mind to new ideas and experiences in a very special and stimulating way" (ibid). Strikingly designed and illustrated throughout with black-and-white photos, drawings and reproductions; with essays by Isozaki, Seigow Matsuoka, and Claude Lévi-Strauss, and notes on contributors. Lightest toning and soiling to wraps, else fine. Item #816