⟨ Book ⟩

Newspaper of Kogei Tathata

A Magazine That is Read by Hands

Words and Photography / Ron Lam
Translation / Iris Heung

這本《工藝新聞タタター》的書角已有點殘舊了,每次在書櫃前找書看,總不自覺將之抽出,翻著翻著它的書頁,輕撫著它的封面,把封面的邊角都撫出毛頭來。

The corners of my Newspaper of Kogei Tathata have got a little worn. Every time when looking for books from the shelf, I would unconsciously pick this magazine up to flip through the pages or to simply rub its cover — no wonder it gets a deckle edge.

《工藝新聞タタター》是由陶藝家石井直人及妻子Sumiko一起製作及出版的,每年一期,每期一個主題,或是石井直人和Sumiko親自執筆,或者邀請主題相關的工藝家、學者撰寫相關的文章。我手上的這期,主題是「布與衣」。學者土田真紀以「布的裡外」為題,談世界各地的織布工作與女性的關係;土屋織物所的土屋美惠子說她種棉花造布的經歷;Sumiko則訪問了韓國料理家崔智恩,看她親手製作的各種圍裙⋯⋯

《工藝新聞タタター》談的是工藝,而它本身也是一件工藝品,比內文紙張單薄的封面採用的是用若狄和紙,這紙是以楮樹造成的,纖維極為粗糙,磨擦多了,便會變得毛絨絨的。封面以若狄悌尚的木板畫印刷而成,中央的線條仔細地造成了漸變色。而內文則使用了原始的孔版印刷,印出來的照片都有點模糊,網點卻清晰可見。

石井直人是以土鍋及食器等陶藝而廣為人知的,妻子Sumiko則深受傳統韓國文化影響,對紙張、布料等都有著獨特的感知。不過,二人對後輩的影響力並不單來自他們的創作,不少年輕的工藝家或是古道具店的年輕老闆,到他們家探訪時,他們總是不嗇吝於分享自己的收藏、對美學的看法。今期《OBSCURA》封面故事的主角富永淳,便是受到石井直人的影響,才認識到器物及古道具的魅力。

《工藝新聞タタター》可說是二人為分享而製作的小雜誌,從內容至載體,都讓人感受到工藝的美好。

Newspaper of Kogei Tathata is an annual magazine co-published by the potter Naoto Ishii and his wife Sumiko. After deciding on a theme of the issue, the couple would either write articles themselves or invite other artisans and scholars as contributors. The issue I have is themed around “fabric and garments”. “The Two Sides of the Cloth” is an article written by the scholar Maki Tsuchida on the relationship between the textile industry and female around the world. Whereas the founder of Tsuchiya Orimono-Sho shared with the readers her experience with producing cotton fabric. Sumiko interviewed the Korean chef Ji Eun Choi and had a chance to admire her handmade aprons.

Newspaper of Kogei Tathata focuses on craft, the magazine itself is, in fact, also a work of craft. The paper used for making the cover is called Wakasa Washi, it is interestingly thinner than the pages inside. This type of mulberry paper has very coarse fiber; after being touched for a few times, it can easily get feathery. The cover print is a panel painting by Yoshitaka Wakasa, featuring a carefully executed gradient. The inside pages adopt the low tech stencil printing skills, therefore, the photos look rather blurry with highly visible screentone patterns.

While Naoto Ishii is famous for his clay pot and ceramic tableware, his wife Sumiko has a genuine interest towards Korean culture. She also has her unique interpretation of paper, fabric and other materials. The influence of the couple is not limited to the works they created, the generosity of the two has an equal importance. The two would happily share their collection their sense of aesthetics with the young artists and secondhand shop owners who come visiting. Jun Tominaga, the cover story of the current OBSCURA issue is one of those who got to understand the charisma of utensils and secondhand items through Ishii.

Newspaper of Kogei Tathata is a small magazine the couple published to share their passion. From its content to the actual printout, readers can feel the beauty of craft from every single angle.