Juxtaposing Craft

by Rebecca Ahlstedt and Anna Senno

Developed with:
National Museums of World Culture, Sweden

Supported by:
Nordic Culture Fund

Dalarnas museum
Galerie Mingei — Paris
Mucem ( Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée ),Marseille


a meeting of contemporary making and traditional craft

Juxtaposing Craft is a series of encounters between designers and craft artists in the Nordic countries and Japan. We juxtapose knowledge of the handmade and look into the process of making in relation to the time and space in which it takes place in order to investigate possibilities of sustainable materialism. Based on the study of objects and craftsmanship, we encircle the perception of time and space – its social, existential and non-linear dimensions.

History and stories lay embedded in objects, in craft techniques and in aesthetic expressions. We juxtapose these with new applications and propositions of translation. From these multi-layered stories an idea of how the world intrinsically is connected can be shown from the very makings of our hands.

The material investigations proceed in a close interplay and dialogue with historical museum collections. This implies drawing inspiration from them but also to critically revisit their representations and narratives within a museal institutional context.

We initiated Juxtaposing Craft in 2018 and premier this traveling exhibition in 2022 at Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities - part of The National Museums of World Culture, Sweden as a multi-chaptered exhibition with both new objects and existing collections of traditional and historical craft objects. 


The participants

Anna Senno, Artist and Curator

Masaru Kawai, Wood Crafter 
Founder of SOMA
Gifu, Japan

Emi Fujii, Ceramist  

Fredrik Prost, Artist and Crafter  
Kiruna/Viikusjärvi, Sápmi

SU-EN Butoh Company, Butoh dancer  

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV, Bamboo Artist 
Ogata, Japan

Stinsensqueeze, Graphic design studio

Toshimasa Kikuchi, Artist, restorer and researcher  
Tokyo University Museum

Seiya Mitazaki, Cabinetmaker
Skattungbyn, Sweden 

Chiharu Nishijima, Wood Sculptor 
Nara, Japan

Rebecca Ahlstedt, Spatial Designer and Curator

Klaus Aalto, Aalto+Aalto  
Member of the design project 1+1+1

Snæbjörn Þór Stefansson, Hugdetta
Member of the design project 1+1+1

Róshildur Jónsdóttir, Hugdetta
Member of the design project 1+1+1

Petra Lilja, Industrial Designer
Member of the design project 1+1+1 Sweden

Elina Aalto, Aalto+Aalto  
Member of the design project 1+1+1

Aoi Yoshizawa, Weaver 

Simon Whitfield, Ceramist  

Gustav Karlsson Frost, Photographer