The Other Isamu

In September, the Noguchi Museum will present Design: Isamu Kenmochi and Isamu Noguchi, an exhibition exploring the dynamic relationship between the two Japanese Modernists. They shared more than a name: both were interested in integrating natural materials with modern production methods and reducing forms to an elemental simplicity. In 1960 the pair even collaborated on a woven-bamboo and iron chair prototype, which the museum plans to recreate for the exhibition. Yet while Noguchi won international renown for his now iconic furniture and lighting, Kenmochi’s work remains relatively obscure. The Noguchi Museum hopes to change that—and as part of this effort, it is reissuing the rattan Kenmochi Chair and Settee (pictured), made in Japan in 1960 but unavailable in North America until now.

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