Monday, December 29, 2008

Zakka Designer : Shinzi Katoh

What is "zakka"? You hear the word everywhere, especially when you buy a DIY Japan books in sewing adn crafting. Why do they call it Zakka style? Zakka design? What is zakka?

Wikipedia describe "zakka" as a fashion and design phenomenon that has spread from Japan throughout Asia. The term refers to everything and anything that improves your home, life and outlook. It is often based on household items from the West that are regarded as kitsch in their countries of origin. Kitsch, eh? You know what kitsch mean, right?

I like the version of Shinzi Katoh's description in his website, though; "It's the things that make people happy and exist like a comfortable air. That is why we always keep in our heart when we create new design." Oh, how lovely! Don't you think? Now you know what zakka means, who is Sinzi Katoh?

Shinzi Katoh is an artist, designer, and illustrator. He had 3 children books published in Japanese and 3 more to come. As a zakka designer, it's obvious that his mediums of artsitry are not far from everday life. His tote bags, stationary, and kitchen utensils are among the popular ones. He has now products for sale, to name at least one, at the MoMA shop in San Fransisco. Of course you can find his products in Zakka shop everywhere. He also has done oil paintings which are currently exhibited in New York City.

Now, here's to you art elite! When you think only gruesome, self torturing, undeniably pervert paintings and performances can make it to the art galleries and museums, what do you say about a "zakka" designer like Shinzi Katoh? Art and design should make you smile, even in the form of everyday life items. Heck, they work best in everyday life items, not untouchable expensive paintings!


  1. Katoh is amazing! I can just die in all these kawaii cuteness!

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