browngrotta arts presents: “Japandi: shared aesthetics and influences”

Italiano (Italian)

September 25 – October 3, 2021
276 Ridgefield Rd, Wilton, CT | Map
Opening and Artist Reception:
Saturday, Sept 25, 11am to 6pm
Reservations highly recommended at
browngrotta arts is pleased to announce its forthcoming exhibition, Japandi: shared aesthetics and influences, exploring common approaches shared between Japanese and Scandinavian cultures through art. The show will feature 39 contemporary fiber and ceramic artists from Denmark, Finland, Japan, Norway, and Sweden. Opening September 25 through October 3, 2021.
Japandi is a hybrid union of Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetic approaches appreciated for its exceptional craftsmanship, simplicity and minimalism, reverence for nature and natural, sustainable materials, and the beauty of embracing imperfection. This union evokes a visual and physical sense of calm and tranquility.
The artistic kinship stretches back a century and a half ago when Japan’s closed border policy was lifted in 1858 and Danish designers and creatives began traveling to Japan. Early influence can be seen in ceramic crafts, architecture, and Danish furniture. After World War II, the Japanese government began promoting cultural exchange among designers and artists from Scandinavia.

Ulla-Maija Vikman, Jiro Yonezawa. Photo by Tom Grotta

Artists of Fiber Art and Modern Craft uniquely embody principal elements of what is currently termed Japandi style – from their use of natural materials and neutral color palettes to the fundamentally “slow art” process of hand craftsmanship. The core of their processes and materials are invoked with an intrinsic sense of contemplation, tranquility, and harmony that reverberates through their work and into the spaces the artworks inhabit. Unique basket forms may be made of bamboo, willow, cedar, or their earthly “scraps” such as branches, grasses, bark, and twigs. Materials come from regionally or locally sourced plant life or even backyard cultivation. Works made of soft materials such as linen, cotton, or wool are handwoven in meticulous detail act as textural counterpoints, adding warmth and calm in modern interiors. Both cultures make room for reuse, artful imperfection, and comfortable simplicity, through the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi and the Scandinavian idea of hygge.

Naoko Serino, Ane Henriksen. Photo credit Tom Grotta

Japandi: shared aesthetics and influences will feature more than three dozen artists from six countries whose works are complementary in approach and execution. Birgitte Birkkjaer (Denmark) is working on baskets made from handmade paper yarn inspired by the Japanese paper textiles shifu. Kay Sekimachi’s (Japan) folded tower sculptures are made of antique Japanese gampi paper treated with persimmon tannin. Jiro Yonezawa (Japan) known for his bamboo basketry reflects that his recent baskets represent a search for the beauty and precision in nature and a way to balance the chaos evident in these times.”  Hiroyuki Shindo (Japan) hand weaves fabrics developed through his own system for natural indigo dyeing, a process that takes several days to complete. For her large-scale textile work, Ane Henriksen (Denmark) replicates strips of webbed rubber matting based on the oil-tainted discarded materials she found washed up along the West coast of Denmark, challenging the viewer to address global environmental issues. Chiyoko Tanaka (Japan) sees weaving as a representation of time passing. Through her process of “grinding,” she elevates the less-than-perfect, distressing her linen weavings on the ground over brick or stone, embedding the earth onto her work. Basketmaker Markku Kosonen (Finland) subverted the symbolism and traditional utility of willow to create new works and/or functions.

Toshio Sekiji, Kari Lønning. Photo credit Tom Grotta

Artists include Jane Balsgaard (Denmark), Birgit Birkkjær (Denmark), Gjertrud Hals (Norway), Norie Hatakeyama (Japan), Ane Henriksen (Denmark), Agneta Hobin (Finland), Kazue Honma (Japan), Mutsumi Iwasaki (Japan), Kiyomi Iwata (Japan), Tomika Kawata (Japan), Masakazu Kobayashi (Japan), Naomi Kobayashi (Japan), Yasuhisa Kohyama (Japan), Markku Kosonen (Finland), Kyoko Kumai (Japan), Åse Ljones (Norway),Kari Lønning (Norway), Keiji Nio (Japan), Mia Olsson (Sweden), Gudrun Pagter (Denmark), Toshio Sekiji (Japan), Hisako Sekijima (Japan), Kay Sekimachi (United States), Naoko Serino (Japan), Hiroyuki Shindo (Japan), Jin-Sook So (Korea/Sweden), Grethe Sørensen (Denmark), Kari Stiansen (Denmark), Noriko Takamiya (Japan), Hideho Tanaka (Japan), Tsuruko Tanikawa (Japan), Chiyoko Tanaka (Japan), Jun Tomita (Japan), Eva Vargo (Sweden), Ulla-Maija Vikman (Finland), Merja Winqvist (Finland), Grethe Wittrock (Denmark), Jiro Yonezawa (Japan), Masako Yoshida (Japan)
The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalog #52 of the same title. Exhibition Hours: Sept 25, 11am to 6pm; Sept 26, 11am to 5pm;  Sept 27 – Oct 2, 10am – 5pm daily; Oct 3, 11am to 5pm. Advanced time reservations are mandatory.

Toshio Sekiji, Merja Winqvist. Photo credit Tom Grotta

About browngrotta arts
For over 30 years, browngrotta arts has been advancing the field of contemporary fiber arts by curating and exhibiting renowned contemporary artists who celebrate the exploration of fiber art techniques and drive the unique possibilities of soft materials. Representing many of the artists who have helped define modern fiber art since the 1950s, browngrotta arts reflects the cultivated eye and intellect of its directors, husband and wife team, Tom Grotta and Rhonda Brown.
Founded in 1987 in Wilton, Connecticut, browngrotta arts showcases unique sculptural and mixed media works with an emphasis on concept, supported by technique. The focus of the work is on the materials and the technical mastery of the artist as intrinsic to the significance of the work, prioritizing aesthetic value over utility. Museum-quality artworks by more than 100 international artists are represented through art catalogs, art fairs, co-partnered exhibits at museums, retail spaces, and an online gallery.
The founders open their private home – a two-story barn built in 1895 expanded and contemporized by architect David Ling in 2000 – for “Art in the Barn”, a unique annual salon-style exhibition. Over 3500-square feet of space with a viewing vista of 55’ allows for experiencing works that reflect complex illusionary space. The 21’ high ceilings permit the installation of tall sculptures and two free-standing walls enable dramatically shaped fiber structures best hung off the wall. The living environment also grants the artwork to be shown in situ. browngrotta arts has published 50 art catalogs and placed works in private and corporate collections in the US and abroad, including the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Arts and Design, Art Institute of Chicago, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum. They also regularly work with architects and interior designers offering consultation for commissioned artworks and site-specific installation for commercial and residential spaces. A selection of works is on view and available for sales inquiries at

Kyoko Kumai, Agneta Hobin. Photo credit Tom Grotta