In Japan, paper is not far from being a sacred material. Traditional crafts such as washi or origami are famous for exploring the many shapes and textures that paper can take, and paper’s ongoing popularity is reflected in the care for paper in everyday life. When in Japan, it’s not uncommon for foreigners to be stunned by the quality of paper used in print advertisements or magazines. Takeo, one of Japan’s leading paper companies, has been rooting for the use of paper by investing in research, reducing its carbon footprint and tying strong ties with designers.

To showcase the ways paper can still amaze us, Takeo holds the Takeo Paper Show every year at its flagship store in Tokyo. “Subtle”, this year’s edition, focused on the slight contrasts and light impressions that only paper can offer. Fifteen designers gathered to explore the medium and each one brought his or her own approach to paper, resulting in a rich variety of works.

“The qualities of paper affect us, awakening and nurturing exquisitely acute sensory perceptions that enable us to perceive even infinitesimal distinctions”


Paper Flower by Haruka Misawa, created out of tight-rolled paper cut with a pencil sharpener




 Architectural firm NOIZ was commissioned to develop concepts around three new paper brands: FUUKOU, NT RASHA and BIOTOPE GA-FS (two of which appear earlier in the post)



Paper from Takeo’s shelves seen through the lens of photographer Yoshihiko Ueda



Unfortunately, the Takeo Paper Show 2014 has ended. If you want to catch up with the works, you can find the bilingual exhibition book in select Tokyo libraries and online. But most importantly, you should watch out for next year’s exhibition on Takeo’s website.


Images: Takeo Paper Show