Arts & Antiques GENEI is an online gallery where I, Genbei Yamanaka, current president of Seikado, introduces exceptional metalwork artists and their works.
In the world of artistic metal works, which is lesser known than other forms of crafts, many excellent products lay buried. Creating a stage to spotlight these works is a concept that has long been in the making, since two decades ago. Through activities to familiarize and sell artistic works to the general public, the concept of supporting aspiring artists and revitalizing the field of artistic metalwork underscores our intent for Ima-kara Mame-sara, an open call metalwork exhibition that we have been hosting since 2012.
As a place to convey the allure of artistic metalworking to as many people as possible, we have opened our warehouse, tea ceremony room, and Japanese-style room in the back area of our store as a gallery, and have been hosting various exhibitions. Our gallery management is a process, in a way, to fill a gap between supply and demand that I have felt since succeeding our family business. On one hand, we have customers who yearn for new pieces once current products grow old, and on the other hand, we have artists who wish to provide products that can be used for a very long time. We will continue our efforts to straighten a misalignment created by today’s consumerist society infiltrated by ‘throwaway’ culture.
Now in 2021, Arts & Antiques GENEI is born two decades after the opening of our gallery. The name GENEI is named after the fourth-generation head of my family, my great-grandfather. After retirement, he had devoted himself to creative activities under the name of Genei and left many excellent works. His way of rigorously working in cultural and creative expression activities is my own guidepost, so I decided to engrain his retired name in the brand along with his spirit of artisanship.
Arts & Antiques at GENEI are selected according to my ultimate personal preference. We propose the expression of new and old artistic metalwork pieces from a new perspective. The ‘antiques’ we refer to here, are not simply antique products. They include newly formed products and livingware that can be reused in today’s life through rediscovery or repurposing of aged pieces that had ceased to be used over time. A good product is one in which rust, scratches, and even joints can be appreciated as tasteful patina over age. The more it is used, the more you can feel the qualities of ‘Sabi’ and even ‘Kirei Sabi’ (beautiful Sabi, a more visually elegant form of Sabi)―dressed with aged colors, sentimental ambience and beauty. Please take a close look at the collection of works here and experience the world of their creators. It is my hope that this site inspires you to explore the world of metal art and offers an opportunity to incorporate these works into your daily life.
President and Seventh-Generation Family Head
Seikado Co., Ltd.
Arts & Antiques GENEI