Blog Review: Spoon & Tamago, In Praise of Johnny Waldman

January 13, 2019 Dana Lewis

Spoon & Tamago: www. spoon-tamago.com logo banner



Here at YokoDana Kimono we like to keep our fans, followers and customers informed of cool or interesting things we find relevant to themes of our website. As part of that process, we routinely scour the web for new talent or fresh eyes on old subjects.

Last year we came across the Spoon & Tamago (S&T) blog and were struck by its excellent visuals and superior information around themes of Japanese culture and design aesthetics. We decided to pen this review because we feel that Spoon & Tamago stands in stark contrast to the often (to us) inane flood of posts and websites about Japan, many of which are simply bad news and full of gross stereotypes; In short, after following Johnny Waldman for over a year we feel it important to point out superior quality and solid integrity when we see it on today's web. So, here are a few reflections on the work of Johnny Waldman:

A Personal Aside:

As someone who fell in love with Japanese culture (and a Japanese woman) over fifty years ago, I have been pleased to see the recent world-wide surge of interest in Japanese culture. However, as a traditionalist, I confess it was initially difficult for me to embrace the whole Anime and Kawaii memes. But, in the end I felt it was all good. I saw that, for many people, the sparkly, shiny objects of Japanese culture which initially attract them, may later, over time, evolve into deeper appreciation and understanding. That said, here's why we have such high praise for Johnny Waldman and S&T:

REVIEW: The Spoon & Tamago blog (on www.spoon-tamago.com) begins with this self-introduction:

About: Founded in 2007, Spoon & Tamago is an international blog that is based in New York City and Tokyo Japan. It is written by artist and writer Johnny Waldman. Drawing from an extensive multicultural database and resources, Spoon & Tamago attempts to comprehensively cover all aspects of Japanese design from fine art and architecture to product and graphic design....

We think of our shop as an extension of the Spoon & Tamago blog where we share our insights into the rich history of Japanese art and design, and how it manifests itself in the contemporary world. From our deep and vast universe of ideas we've selected our very favorites that we think exemplify the aesthetic and sensitivity of Japanese design.

A recent S&T blog ,Photographing the Story of Japanese Textiles had some exquisite pictures and info about Japanese textiles which caught our eye:

arai-junichi textiles pics on spoon tamago

arai-junichi textiles pics2

The Story of Japanese Textiles
Arai Junichi

To learn more about this photographer consider a 2013 blog on S&T featuring Arai Junichi's (b.1932) work, HERE.

We invite all to visit and follow the links. Some pages are in Japanese untranslated but the images are worth it no matter what your language:
Arai Junichi 2013 Display
Arai Junichi Exhibition: Photo 2013 by KIOKU Keizo courtesy the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery

Also, S&T pays full attention to contemporary Japanese artists, sometimes partnering with them and promoting their works.

Furthermore, S&T is a business, an on-line shop selling what can only be called -- for lack of a more original adjective -- "cool" and distinct items (grin). Being bi-cultural and bi-lingual, S&T promotes the creativity of modern Japanese artisans and artists. As for products, we ourselves are drawn towards the "100 Views of Tokyo" iPhone covers and the hourglass with bubbles... (smile), but I digress...

In short, we love S&T because it manages to inform and inspire. It doesn't promote stereotypes or false memes about Japanese culture. It shares often in-depth information on Japanese culture, design and architecture through a bi-cultural lens with which we identify. So give them a look. They have a routine newsletter which I highly recommend; and you can always tell them "YokoDana sent me." Enjoy. Dana Lewis

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