|Sunday, February 2, 2003|
The understanding, or appreciation, of a box may change with what we know about its contents. However, what might the box itself bring? We may start with the functional aspects such as containing, archiving, storage, and security, but how about secrecy? or the process of opening/closing?
We've looked at boxes in past posts, in particular the box that Japanese potters use to hold their works, the tomobako.
While simple in apperance, being a fairly straight forward wooden box, the tomobako may include information on its side that includes the name of the artist, title, where it was made, who owns it, etc... It may be tied together with a fancy cord, a kumihimo.
The tomobako is well centered in Japanese culture and design sense. Its form is understood to apply a meaning of specialnessto that which is within. Indeed, the utter lack of decoration, but fine craftsmanship of the tomobako may lead people in most cultures to understand that what is within is to be considered special
The box featured currently on my main site is quite the opposite. Instead of a barren design, it is highly decorated. One can say is suffers from horror vacui, or fear of emptiness.
However, it also leads people to understand that which it contains is to be considered special. Like the tomobako, it uses elements that are understood in western, and eastern culture (design sense) to attribute specialness to the item(s) within.