MT: mixed media: bamboo, iron, cord, and mulberry paper shade (76x12x12 / SHADE:30x20x20 / CORD:240)
TX: printed at lower center of shade in English <[hallmark] I. Noguchi>, on sticker at bottom of base of lamp A <UNDERWRITERS LABORATORIES / LISTED / PORTABLE LAMP / ISSUE NO. E-6723 / KOVACS>, of lamp B <UNDERWRITERS LABORATORIES / LISTED / PORTABLE LAMP / ISSUE NO. E-6726 / KOVACS>
CM: One of the most important artists of the 20th century, Isamu Noguchi expanded the traditional notion of sculpture to include the creation of dance sets, gardens, playgrounds, fountains, lighting, and furniture. Within this range of spatial environments Noguchi's Akari Light Sculptures hold a unique place, expressing his Japanese-American heritage in works designed to enhance the quality of everyday life.
It was in 1951 on a trip to Gifu, Japan, that Noguchi created his first Akari designs, inspired by traditional lanterns illuminating night fishing on the Nagara River. He called these works Akari, a Japanese term meaning light as illumination, but also implying weightlessness. By blending modern design with traditional Japanese hand craft, Noguchi achieved an extraordinary harmony of light and form. He crafted over 100 models for table lights, standard lamps or ceiling luminaires. The present Akari is a table lamp with oblong mulberry paper shade on bamboo stand and cast iron base.
This is what Noguchi said about Akari: "It was natural that I would perceive the spiral Gifu lantern as superior engineering. I found a way to combine this with electric light... I called them Akari, the Japanese word for light... the quality of Akari is very much related to the materials of its origin: washi, the handmade paper from the inner bark of the mulberry tree, so superb for the purpose of transmitting light, and higo, the bamboo ribbing, which can be bent and shaped in numerous ways. The light of Akari is like the light of the sun filtered through washi paper. The magic of the paper transforms cold electricity back into eternal sunlight, so that its warmth can go on filling our spaces even during the night... All that you require to start a home are a room, tatami (floor mat), and Akari."