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Harmonize Iron with Nature

Maya Nakamura

I recently fell in love with the iron tableware by Motomu Oyama.  His tableware collection got the perfect balance of the rustic elegance of Wabi-Sabi and modern industrial style.     

Here is a super short version of his background. 

Graduated from an art school in Tokyo (Setsu Mode Seminar), Motomu was a graphic designer for a clothing line initially, and did various illustrations for CD covers, posters and ads.  His obsession with iron started when he did a project involving 3D metal work.  He was so mesmerized by the beauty of iron and what he can express with it that he has not stopped working with iron ever since.  He produced a several building signs for popular music venues and art gallery spaces including Fujita Vente, and participated in Artist Table for Minami-Aoyama SPIRAL. Even though I am not too familiar with Fujita Vante or Spiral, I get the idea that he was heavily involved with the art scene and built an impressive portfolio.

Motomu was based in Tokyo until 10 years ago when he decided to move his studio to his home town in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Kumage, which is on the southwest side of main Honshu island.  Most of his works are inspired by lush nature surrounding his studio.  

He has 2 types of metal work called "Object Work Hobo" and "26".  

"Object Work Hobo" focuses on the subject that contribute to nature and living creatures like trees and butterflies.  

butterfly wall hooks

"kare eda (branch)" wall hook

"kare eda (branch)" wall hook

birdnest wall lamp (from Motomu's FB pg)

birdnest wall lamp (from Motomu's FB pg)

"26" is his other collection for minimal and abstract objects.  For those who didn't do well in chemistry, 26 is the atomic number of iron.   

compote dish

compote dish

candle holder

candle holder

bud vase

bud vase

When you think of iron, something heavy, hard, cold like factory and pipes come to your mind. But his iron looks soft, elegant and just simply beautiful.  It is because his works are inspired by nature.  Living in the wild allows him to create metal pieces connected to nature.   

Motomu's work continues to evolve, as he experiments with the material for a deeper understanding of the properties of iron.   He says that the way iron rusts, melts, bends has not and will never change, so he needs to have a flexible mind to change his perception for the material, in order to achieve what he envisions.   

At b. benten online shop, a limited quantity of Motomu's plates is available:  

The plates are called Tsuki-utsushi (the literal translation is Moon Projection) and come in 3 different sizes.  SHOP

Whether you simply serve tea or coffee on it...  use it to hold jewelries or candles... or casually throw it on top of your ottoman as an interior piece...  it will make a subtle yet bold statement in your house.  

source: @rihpark

source: @rihpark

So how would you harmonize his iron with nature?