A sushi counter made of hinoki or Japanese cypress is often the mark of a quality Japanese restaurant. What makes it so valued is its fine wood grain, even tone and near absence of any knots.
The Yoshino forest in Okuyamato region has mountains full of cedar and cypress trees, planted in a dense mass up to four times the size of an average forest. Each tree is thinned repeatedly and carefully tended over 200 years before they are harvested, resulting in straight, uniform trunks of timber.
For a close up look at Yoshino wood and to even buy some pieces, check out Into The Woods, an exhibition organised by the Nara Prefectural Government, Okuyamato Migration and Exchange Promotion Office. It shines the spotlight on 16 artisans from Okuyamato and their creations.
This is the second time that Into the Woods is taking place in Singapore, after a successful run in 2019. Its curator, Jackson Tan, founder of Black design firm, says: “We wanted to extend the showcase to introduce the wider Okuyamato area through a larger variety of craft and products, and visual stories of the makers from the Yoshino mountains.”
He adds: “We hope visitors can appreciate Okuyamato and Yoshino wood through the makers’ sharing of their lives and aspirations, the dedication of the community to revitalise their industry and city, and an appreciation of the craft unique to the region.”
All the items on display are for sale. Besides the wooden items, there will also be a selection of dried and processed foods and tea from some of the region’s producers.
Into The Woods is now on till February 21 at Lumine Singapore, #02-20 The Central