INTO THE WOODS: Yoshino Wood from Nara

Introducing Yoshino Wood through a curation of craft

The material that built Japan, and the people who grew it

Afforestation was implemented in the 1500s and sustained since in Nara, Japan. Nara forests have been meticulously cared for and protected over centuries through challenges including war and natural disasters. Known as ‘the material that built Japan’, the quality and prestige of Yoshino Wood is demonstrated through some of Japan’s oldest surviving wooden architecture built more than a thousand years ago.

The highly regarded material grew from passion and hard work of the city’s forestry industry–lumberjacks, carpenters, designers, woodworkers, buyers, and specialists—who have collectively built a unique culture around treating the forests of Nara with respect, love and passion over the years. To meet its exceedingly high demand in the past, Yoshino wood was vigorously planted but now face an excess of material due to lifestyle changes and overseas competition.

INTO THE WOODS is an ongoing exhbition and pop-up retail outlet travelling through Southeast Asia that introduces Yoshino wood to new markets, and invites collaborators to Yoshino, Nara. Through a curation of makers and producers living in Nara and working with Yoshino wood, INTO THE WOODS brings the forests to visitors through an informational showcase of the industry’s culture, craftsmanship and practices, and line-up of unique handcrafted products that demonstrate the material’s qualities.

BLACK was invited by the Nara Prefectural Government to creative direct and curate the program’s Singapore showcase held at LUMINE SINGAPORE.

Icons were created to represent key information and injected throughout the showcase as visual bookmarks
Common objects and materials found in the factories of wood producers and craft-makers filled the window display
Planting and lumbering processes visualised at the beginning of the showcase