Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewelry and Japanese Crafts in Kyoto’s Museum

Van cleef & Arpels and Kyoto’s traditional craftsmen (ceramists, enamellers, fabric artists…) definitely have in common the same respect and pride for their heritage, and the intention to share and transmit it to a non-restrictive audience through this exhibition: with this motto, we aim to take similar cultural initiatives in the future for admirers of the excellence of know-how extended to those who want to discover it.

 Nicolas Bos | President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels

The National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Japan, is once more curators  of an incredible artistic exhibition. Mastery of an Art: Van Cleef & Arpels – High Jewelry and Japanese Crafts will be hosted in the artistic Kyoto’s Museum until August 6th, 2017. It is an inimitable exhibition that eloquently compares the high jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels to the traditional crafts of Japan through the use of masterful examples of highly skilled Japanese and French workmanship. Our thoughts are filled with all the beauty, splendour and excellence organized by Kyoto’s, National Museum of Modern Art, Nikkei Inc. and the Kyoto Shimbum Co., Ltd through the generous support of the Embassy of France and the Institute Francais, as well as, of course, the very special collaboration of Van Cleef & Arpels.

Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewelry and Japanese Crafts in Kyoto's Museum

Van Cleef & Arpels, the storied French, high jewelry house, needs no introduction as its designs are synonymous the world over with elegance and superior craftsmanship. And it was four years ago when its CEO, Nicolas Bos, first approached Mr.Ryuichi Matsubara, the Chief Curator of Kyoto’s National Museum of Modern Art about this specific exhibition, which as Mr.Matsubara explains, took a while to get it off the ground because: “It was a very challenging proposition due to the fact that we are a National Museum and certain restrictions had to be adhered to.” Thankfully, all obstacles were overcome and the dazzling displays are testament to an impeccable collaboration.

Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewelry and Japanese Crafts in Kyoto's Museum

Designed by renowned Japanese architect, Sosuke Fujimoto Sou Fujimoto Architects| 藤本壮介建築設計事務所 }, the exhibition is separated into three sections, each telling a distinctive part of the same story. The firstHistory of Van Cleef & Arpels, references the high jewelry house’s archives with a special selection of jewels produced in their studio between the 1920s and 1980s that show the development of stylistic trends throughout that time period. The secondMastery of an Art, reveals a stunning display comparing 100 high jewelry pieces to about 50 items of Japanese crafts, such as ceramics, enamel and cloisonné. And finally, the third section, A Fusion of Cultures and the Future, presents an intriguing array of the maison’s high jewelry alongside works of well-known Japanese craft artists who have been ascribed the title of “Living National Treasures” in Japan (such as Moriguchi Kunihiko for the yuzen dyeing method; the lacquere artist, Hattori Shunsho; and Nakagawa Kiyotsugu, for his work in traditional wood crafts, among other artisans) which aims to show the cultural exchange and fusion between the arts of Japan and France.

Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewelry and Japanese Crafts in Kyoto's Museum

I was thinking about how we could connect the small jewelry to the size of the space so as to make it an experience for the visitors,” Says Mr. Fujimoto. “Also, since the theme is the collaboration between Japanese crafts and high jewelry, I was thinking about how to bring the spirit of Japan into the space.

See also: Wiebke Meurer’s new collection of fascinating filigree tableware

Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewelry and Japanese Crafts in Kyoto's Museum

Mr. Ryuichi Matsubara says what he believed was the common thread between Van Cleef & Arpel’s high jewelry and the Japanese traditional crafts on display; “They both strive to create something superb. They go beyond the mastery of a technique and include the psychological aspect behind the creations. This was the spirit that was so important for us to convey with this exhibition.


Serenitatis necklace, 2010. Gold, sapphires, diamonds. Photo © Van Cleef & Arpels.

Tsumugi silk kimono "Autumn Mist" by Shimura Fukumu 1961. Silk, pongee type weaving.Photo by Shikata Kunihiro.

If your travels take you to Kyoto within the next few months, we urge you to go visit this incredible exhibit. You’re sure to be amazed.

In case you are a jewelry lover please take a look at Filigree Jewelry Safe by Boca do Lobo.

This precious jewelry box is made of filigree, the most delicate and antique jewelry technique in the world used to work precious metals. It is nust not a box to keep safe pieces of art in for of jewls. It is a piece of art itself. Tiny beads or twisted threads of gold and silver are painstakingly assembled by the hands of skillful jewelers to create the most beautiful artistic motifs. Some of the most enchanting pieces of jewelry in the world are made using this ancient technique and deserve to be guarded in the most perfect jewelry case there is – a true celebration of hyper refinement and luxury.

Resultado de imagem para Filigree jewelry box boca do lobo

See this piece in full detail here.

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