Join us 09 - 26 sept. 2021

The Ateliers of Wonders

The Ateliers of Wonders

Discover 12 National Living Treasures on the cusp of creation

A unique vision through the lens of Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi

Discover how the skills of European master artisans contribute to the automotive world in this fascinating exhibition. Whether assembling a 12 cylinder engine, hand painting bodywork, hand stitching car seats or customising interiors, the hand of the artisan has always been essential to the creation of luxury cars. Visitors can see how the master restorers from the Italian workshop Cremonini Classic breathe new life into magnificent vintage cars. At the other end of the spectrum, Lamborghini will reveal how fine craftsmanship is synchronized with 4.0 technology to create a state-of-the-art supercar. Special attention will be given to a young generation of artisans, designers and engineers, who will be called on to collaborate on a unique project.

The touch of a hand

Humans behind the lens

Rinko Kawauchi, conscious of the honour and rarity to both meet and observe Japanese National Living Treasures at work in their studios, approached her images with respect as a fellow creative and Japanese citizen, as well as with awe at the insights she was privileged to be witnessing. The result is candid, a visual homage to the meaningful and artistic daily existence of these master artisans, who are deeply connected to their workshops and their own creative rhythms, so closely interwoven with those of their predecessors.

Making of a masterpiece

A journey through the creative process

Expressive and immersive, these revealing pictures pay tribute to Japanese craftsmanship, showing the fine details, diverse textures, and multitude of colours unique to each artisanal process and individual workshop. The photographs illustrate artisans at crucial moments of creation, as they perform with great skill such ancient traditions as urushi and Kyushitsu lacquering, yuzen textile dyeing, kasuri weaving and bizen ceramics. Deep expressions of a rich cultural heritage are seen in the gesture of the hand: red lacquer precisely applied, the deft turn of bamboo and flakes of gold dropped gently onto a surface that conveys a world of light.

Designed and curated by: Rinko Kawauchi

Rinko Kawauchi was born in Shiga Prefecture in 1972. In 2002, Rinko received the Kimura Ihei Award, for her publications Utatane and Hanabi. Numerous other awards include 25th Infinity Award, Art Category in 2009. Rinko has held several solo exhibitions including The River Embraced Me (2016), Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto. She is also the author of multiple publications such as Halo (2017), a picture book Hajimari no Hi (the day it started, 2018) and When I was Seven (2019).