Exhibition ‘Bricolage’ at Retroft in Kagoshima, focusing on workshops

PUBLISHED Apr 11, 2023

The exhibition “Bricolage - Techniques for Survival”

The exhibition “Bricolage – Techniques for Survival” opened on April 11 at Retroft Museo, a gallery on the second floor of the Retroft Chitose Building in Meizancho, Kagoshima City.

“Bricolage is a French word, meaning to make what you need with your own hands, using tools and materials at hand,” said gallery owner Tomie Nagai. “Nowadays, everything is readily available. We take it for granted that we have electricity and running water. I hope that people step away from that and have the experience of creating something new with what is around them.”

While exhibiting and selling works and tools with “bricolage-like concepts,” the exhibition focuses on the handiwork of making such pieces, and workshops where visitors can try their hand at making something serve as the main part of the exhibition.

Workshops include “Broom Making with Japanese Silver Grass” (11th) by Nagai; “Let’s Carve Measuring Spoons from Wood Scraps” (12th) by WAGO Creation, a woodcarving and woodworking artist; “Oil Lamp Making” (14th and 16th) by atelier NiwAtocO, a candle studio; and a ”Kitchen Knife Sharpening” (13th) by Koichiro Tokunaga, captain of the pleasure fishing boat Tensho Maru and kitchen knife sharpener (13th).

On the 15th, Reprise, a Kirishima City resident, will teach making “usui-sheets” from recycled plastic bottle lids. Reprise is in the business of marketing and design but also makes objects out of waste plastic. At the venue, there will be equipment to compress plastic with heat and materials made from chipped plastic bottle caps to make three business card-sized sheets.

Workshop hours and participation fees vary depending on the class. Reservations are recommended, but if seats are available, participants may attend.

At 7:00 p.m. on the 15th, Hamamatsu City architect Takuma Tsuji will give a lecture on bricolage-style architecture. He will share his ideas of “recycling in the house,” such as “not building the whole house at once, but thinking of a better form while living in it” and “making a new floor from the wood used for the ceiling.” The participation fee is 2,000 yen, and reservations are required.

Nagai added: “We wanted people to actually try their hands at this exhibition, so we decided to make it a participatory project. We hope that people will enjoy the process of transforming things into something beautiful.”

The exhibition will run from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (until 5:00 p.m. on the last day) until the 16th of this month.

  • Materials for the workshop

  • Plastic bottle caps are made into thin sheets

  • Focusing on Workshops