ROOTS OF METALCRAFT: Tsubame-Sanjo, Niigata, Japan

21 February - 22 March 2020
The Ngee Ann Kongsi Galleries 1 & 2, NAFA Campus 1, 80 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189655

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) is proud to present ROOTS OF METALCRAFT: Tsubame-Sanjo, Niigata, Japan, an exhibition created in collaboration with the Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival Committee, to be held at NAFA from 21 February to 22 March 2020.

Shown in Singapore for the first time, the exhibition highlights the traditions of Tsubame-Sanjo, an area located in central Niigata, roughly 300 km northwest of Tokyo. Renowned for its internationally acclaimed metalworks and carpentry, the Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival was established in 2013 to promote the world of manufacturing among its factories and has since grown into a major attraction for the region. Taking a leaf from the festival, ROOTS OF METALCRAFT: Tsubame-Sanjo, Niigata, Japan shines a spotlight on the extraordinary skills of ordinary people, featuring about 200 craftsmen tools, artisanal wood and metal objects representing the advanced skills and innovativeness of Japan’s highly skilled artisans.

Led by renowned Japanese creative agency Method Inc., with art direction from the award-winning duo, SPREAD, the exhibition also commemorates the “Timeline of Metalcraft” – a biographical capsule of Tsubame-Sanjo’s rich manufacturing history. Captured in videos and photographs of Tsubame-Sanjo’s craftsmen and craftswomen, visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to gain an insight into the culture and history behind the works on display and develop a deeper appreciation for the centuries-old skills used to create products essential for the modern home.

Skilled craftsmen from some of Tsubame-Sanjo’s most reputable and iconic factories such as Gokusendo, Tadafusa, Hinoura Hamono, MGNET and Oiwa metal carving will be conducting a series of talks, demonstrations and workshops throughout the course of the exhibition. These events include learning about Japanese knives and the history of metalcraft, gaining hands-on experience of sharpening knives and making copperware utensils like plates, spoons and chopstick rests.

ROOTS OF METALCRAFT: Tsubame-Sanjo, Niigata, Japan and its fringe activities form a crucial part of NAFA’s mission to inspire and creatively enrich the learning experience of the academy’s aspiring artists, strengthening NAFA’s position as a premier arts institution in Singapore and the region.

Public Programmes

For more information on the public programmes, please go here.

Annex 1 - Information on participating craftsmen and factories from Tsubame-Sanjo