Feel the Japain


For an exhibition of Spanish design at this year’s Tokyo Designers Week, which begins October 29, the Valencian studio CuldeSac has concocted an intriguing bit of revisionist history. Made in Japain, as the 3,750-square-foot exhibit is called, asserts that “tens of hundreds of thousands of years ago” Spain and Japan were actually one country—Japain!—with one people and one culture. Alas, the vagaries of time, tectonic shifts, and continental drift separated the landmass, and today only a few hints remain of the now distant countries’ shared heritage. For instance: a mutual passion for stringed instruments, flowers, and the color red; a cuisine in which rice plays a central role; and, of course, a thriving design scene. (A manga-style comic by Paco Roca lays out the whole story, and sculptures by Alfredo Llorens bring one alienlike Japainese character to life.) “Although we are really far away, we have lots of things in common,” says Pepe Garcia, one of CuldeSac’s founders. He hopes that Made in Japain will help open a larger market for Spanish design in Japan. We hope the idea doesn’t stop there. Spamerica, anyone?

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