Bringing together 15 of the most talented French artistic craftsmen and women, the WONDER LAB exhibition offers a fresh perspective on contemporary creation. From silversmithery to ceramics, artistry with feathers, tortoiseshell glass, leather, straw, paper and textile, the excellence and diversity of French artistic crafts are put on view in Japan for the first time.

Echoing the Japanese concept of Living National Treasures, while affirming the contemporary nature of the approach, the WONDER LAB exhibition is as much for an enlightened audience, who will be able to discover the greatest French Masters of Art, as it is for a broader and newer public, whowill be able to live and feel a unique experience.

From the materials to the lighting and the sound, the scenography of the great French-Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh will set up unique spaces within the Hyōkeikan, creating new surprises for visitors as they go from hall to hall, while forging a unity in this emblematic building in Tokyo's Ueno Park.

The exhibition is curated by Hélène Kelmachter, an expert in contemporary art and French-Japanese cross-cultural issues. She has chosen to highlight creators with remarkable personalities, each of whom combines vocation with tradition and innovation.

With the ambition of creating a field of contemporary creation that engages with art and design, all the while affirming its singularity, the exhibition embarks visitors on an unparalleled aesthetic journey that intersects know-hows, mediums, life journeys, and men and women who are determined to expand their skills, reinvent them and transmit them.

Conferences and activities

Living National Treasures / Masters of Art:

A dialogue between France and Japan on history and the future of the programmes protecting our living intangible heritage Conference-discussion with Gérard Desquand, Master of Art, heraldic engraver; Lyne Cohen-Solal, President of INMA; Kazumi Murose, Living National Treasure, lacquer artist; Yoshiaki Ito, Deputy Director of the Kyoto National Museum.

Saturday 16 September from 15:00 to 16:30

Tokyo National Museum

Artistic crafts and innovation: observations from the architecture sector

Conference-discussion with Emmanuel Barrois, Master of Art, glassmaker; Toyo Ito, architect; Junji Ito, professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai), art critic.

Saturday 16 September from 16:45 to 18:15

Tokyo National Museum

The journey of a lifetime:

the extraordinary story of the quest for the 'Yohen Tenmoku' Screening of a film by Yannick Coutheron, followed by a conference-discussion with Jean Girel, Master of Art, ceramist and Tetsuro Degawa, Director of the Museum of Oriental Ceramics in Osaka.

Sunday 17 September from 15:00 to 16:30

Tokyo National Museum

Conference cycle with six French Masters of Art and Japanese experts

More information here

Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai)

Yves Saint Laurent's spectacles: a discussion with Christian Bonnet, tortoiseshell artisan, spectacle maker

Screening of the film Saint Laurent by Bertrand Bonello, followed by a discussion with Christian Bonnet, Master of Art, tortoiseshell artisan and Masaya Kushino, fashion designer, moderated by Yoshiko Ikoma, fashion expert

Friday 15 September, screening from 17:00 to 19:30 / Labo vol.16 – discussion from 19:30 to 21:30

More information here

Institut Français in Tokyo

Activities for children ages 10 and up

Umbrella and parasol making

Workshop with Michel Heurtault, Master of Art, creator and restorer of umbrellas and parasols

Saturday 16 September from 10:30 to 12:00

Tokyo National Museum

Straw marquetry

Workshop with Lison de Caunes, Master of Art, straw marquetry artist

Saturday 16 September from 13:00 to 14:30

Tokyo National Museum

Feather artistry

Workshop with Nelly Saunier, Master of Art, feather artist

Sunday 17 September from 10:30 to 12:00

Tokyo National Museum

The art of the folding fan

Workshop with Sylvain Le Guen, Master of Art, fan maker

Sunday 17 September from 13:00 to 14:30

Tokyo National Museum