Isamu Noguchi (1904 – 1988) was an artist, furniture designer, ceramicist, theatre designer and landscape architect. In 1951, he began designing Akari Light Sculptures – 100 of them – to reinvigorate the flailing craft of lantern making in Ozeki. Akari means ‘light’ in Japanese, suggesting luminous and weightless. Noguchi said of the series: “The harshness of electricity is… transformed through the magic of paper back to the light of our origin – the sun – so that its warmth may continue to fill our rooms at night.”
Akari lampshades were made by highly skilled craftspeople in the traditional way. A coiled wire frame is wrapped with hand cut paper glued to the frame. Each piece takes a considerable time to make. It has some age to it and is nicely marked with the artist’s logo. The symbol marks it out as a rare first edition. It was one of the originals sold at Galerie Steph Simon in Paris. It has some age and discolouration to the paper shade. Re-wired and PAT tested for the UK.