Unframed - Samurai

wHY's Design of Samurai: Japanese Armor
December 10, 2014

Samurai: Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection, on view in the Resnick Pavilion through February 1, 2015, features an exhibition design by wHY, an interdisciplinary firm that focuses on "buildings (architecture), grounds (landscape environments), objects (products and material explorations), and ideas (design research and strategy)." wHY was able to address a number of these elements in their design of Samurai: they worked within the confines of a preexisting building, with its own predetermined floorplan and walls; they created a display that articulated the richness of samurai armor and objects from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller collection; and they had to support a narrative—through design—of nearly 600 years of samurai life, culture, and pageantry. I asked Kulapat Yantrasast, wHY's creative director, about his work on the installation…

Functional Art: Armor of the Samurai
December 1, 2014

For many, the word “samurai” conjures images of a stoic warrior, swift in battle, armed with his sword (katana), a powerful weapon of destruction. But essential to the samurai’s survival was his armor—battle regalia that did not sacrifice beauty for functionality.
In LACMA’s newest installment, Samurai: Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection, viewers are invited to witness the evolution of Japanese armor from the 12th to the 19th century. As described by LACMA curator Robert T. Singer, the exhibition calls attention to “the fantasy, [and] humor of Japan’s art in a traditional, three-dimensional way.”