Antiques and Vintage Items As Mentor

A joint exhibition of Masaki Kanamori and Jun Tominaga





Masaki Kanamori sees antiques and vintage items as his mentor, from which he has learned about the essential quality of an everlasting piece of work. This year in March, Kanamori is collaborating with his “mentors” on the Exhibition of the Craft of Daily Life in Galerie Momogusa.

In Kanamori’s room lies many curious items, for instance, a rusty toy truck, a fishing equipment made of plastic, a ceramic pot that was once used to contain sauce in bento box, and concrete fragments he picked up from a construction site. While many of these items were Kanamori’s collection from around the world, the majority was, in fact, acquired from a shop in Kyoto called Furui Dougu.

Jun Tominaga, the owner of Furui Dougu, has a distinctive take on old things. While most people are obsessed with antique that possesses a high historical value or demonstrates exquisite craftsmanship, Tominaga has an extraordinary sense of aesthetic that leads him to the discovery of old things that are often overlooked. In his shop, customers can find a used pencil that has only 2 centimeters left, or a deformed plastic toy whose original shape and print are not to be distinguished. Tominaga is very knowledgeable about everyday items, he can therefore recognize the uniquely remarkable qualities of commonly seen items. To Masaki Kanamori, Tominaga is a wanderer who always prefers quiet little alleys to the frequently praised scenery on the main street; Tominaga can always depict the charming vibe of the narrow passages.

In this collaboration, Kanamori invited Tominaga to select items for the project. After closely observing the items, Kanamori tried to think beyond the border to imagine their possibilities; he also eliminated the unwanted parts and polished them with new elements. After these creative process, he gave a transformable wooden chair/crutch with a broken handle a new aluminium one; he covered the coverless stone fireplace with a rusty metal cover and grill grid; the octagon-shaped fish tank made of glass was transformed into a tea box that is used in tea ceremony. Looking at the somewhat quirky works of Kanamori, one comes to understand the charm of antique lies in how they are capable of stimulating imagination. While imagining, we are allowed to depart from the rigidity of social norm and predefined set of value, we can then enjoy a brand-new understanding of life and aesthetics.