Paper Plains: Takehiko Inoue inspires Torafu Architects’ latest line of AirVases

Using artwork by the world renowned Manga artist, Torafu have reinterpreted his vision into lightweight, flexible bowls.

Based in Japan, this is not the first time that Torafu have created these decorative fancies. Carefully constructed from light, malleable paper, these shape-shifters can be easily swayed into various positions. By twisting, winding and unwinding their firm yet fragile structure, one can allow the printed image to change form and depict new and invigorating versions of the artwork inside.

This new line began as a celebration of Inoue’s most recent exhibition, ‘Takehiko Inoue Interprets Gaudi’s Universe’ in honor of the 400th anniversary of the Japan - Spain Relations project. As Torafu saw this iconic architect and contemporary artist come together, they wished to add a further architectural dimension. By printing the images onto these expandable structures, Inoue’s interpretation is further extended to that of the hands adjusting and readjusting the direction of the air-vase.

Takehiki made a name for himself in the early 90s with his now world famous Manga series, Slam Dunk. As his career progressed, his artistry branched into several fields. This most recent exhibit demonstrates his collaborative mind. Having journeyed to Barcelona to find Gaudi the man, and then worked with the Torafu team as they reimagined this adventure, these air vases embody his path from Spanish architecture to Japanese design and back again. This exhibition begins at five locations nationwide from July 2014.

Encompassing multiple interpretive minds, these “calibers of the air” express an intriguing exploration of cross-cultural artistic influence. Also, they make for beautiful pieces of work on their own merit, and are undeniably innovative in their ability to transform a two dimensional image into a 3D structural object. Plus, look like a lot of fun to play with…

Photography by Fuminari Yoshitsugu