"Nothing in life should ever come to an uninteresting end. There is always more to be experienced, more to be uncovered, more to be shared. Utilitarian objects are created to support people's daily lives but are too easily tossed aside when their job is done.
As a self taught artist, I have designed and fabricated everything from clothing to interior, and when searching for materials I have always felt that too many things were being wasted, that there was much more life still to be found in obsolete and discarded objects. Wonderful, unlikely, treasures were just waiting to be rediscovered, to be touched, to be used and given new life.
Recycling and "redefining" things from the past is also a viable way to connect us to the next generation. I hope that my work offers a shift in perception, where a different 'view,' a different aspect, of an object can be celebrated.
"In 1962 Shoichi Sakurai was born the son of a master tategushokunin in the downtown district of Tokyo. Growing up, he found himself unable to relate to the traditional Japanese world and was, instead, drawn to American culture. Adopting the American 50's as his own, he rebelled against Japanese tradition and in his late 20's, after successfully trying his hand at hotel man, musician and club manager, left Japan for the States.
After a few years of life in California, selling vintage memorabilia, he began to develop a growing appreciation and pride for his homeland.
Around this time, he met, who was later to become his wife, Colleen, an American jazz singer who had a love, and fascination, for Japanese washi paper. Those two events proved to be the turning point of his life. Together he and Colleen traveled throughout Asia and were deeply inspired by each countries unique cultures and native crafts. After returning to Japan, they began to create their own work. In 1995 they opened their workshop.
The Sakurai's express the beauty of recycling in works of art created from discarded materials around a theme of "Re-create." Their artistic endeavors involve melding innovative ideas with a Japanese aesthetic. They are widely active in the U.S., Europe and Japan.