Sweet nothing

Hirado Japan, 2016

The geographic locations of Hirado and Friesland have been connected over the course of space and time. Since the start of our maritime interaction several centuries ago, apparent and more subtle traces have found their way into our cultures in the shape of goods, customs, language. When we were invited in the beginning of 2016 to create the ceramics for a tea ceremony and the sweets to accompany it for the Matsura Museum in Hirado, we were honoured and so curious to learn more.

Over the course of this year, we have entered into dialogue with the culture, nature the customs and craft we found in Hirado. Apart from the differences in our cultures, we also feel a close connection in our design practice to some characteristics of the Japanese qualities and themes: perfect imperfections, consistent inconsistency, tactility and speaking to all the senses, the balance between function and freedom, logics and intuition.

From this encounter a series of products, wagashi (sweets for the tea ceremony) and art pieces, among which porcelain tea bowls, a paper scroll, ikebana and kimono are made in close collaboration with the local craftsmen. This Sweet Nothing series reflects our wonderful journey, the curiosities that caught our eye and also represent the mix of craft and flavours that have been created.

This journey is designed and summarized in a booklet.

In October 2016 we festively presented the SWEET NOTHING during a special tea ceremony at the Matsura Museum in Hirado and at the Dutch embassy in Tokyo. For this occasion all the elements of our constellation will come together in one special choreography.

Winnaar Vredeman de Vries Prijs voor Vormgeving 2017


Photography by INAMATT, Arjan Benning and Heleen Haijtema