Pair of bamboo chairs

Made in 1933 by the cabinetmaker Ubunji Kidokoro

The shape is a curved surface,  supported between two U-shaped sections that meet at the top of the  backrest. The seat is cantilevered and does not require rear legs,  bending slightly with the weight of a person. The design is based on an  armchair by Alvar Aalto from the early 1930s and demonstrates the  influence of Scandinavian design at the time. The first version was  developed in 1937 for Mitsukoshi, a department store that was  instrumental in introducing and promoting European modernism in Japan.  Aalto’s armchair, and Kidokoro’s later version, expresses an artisanal  response to the Bauhaus and international modernist style, using warm,  natural materials instead of cold metals.

In the 1940s, Charlotte Perriand exhibited the Kikokoro armchair in  the Takashimaya department stores in Tokyo and Kyoto and produced  furniture designs using similar methods. The Kikokoro armchair perfectly  illustrates the mutual exchange and influence between Western and  Japanese modernisms.

Laminated plywood and strips of bamboo fixed with brass dowels

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