Originally published in Destination: Limited Edition Design (Mondadori Electa, 2008).
Located in Shibuya, the central business district of Tokyo famous for fashion and nightlife, Clear Gallery was launched in October 2007 with a retrospective exhibition of the legendary Japanese designer, Shiro Kuramata. Clear is arguably the only design gallery in Japan with a program comparable to the design galleries in Europe and the US—that is, galleries that represent limited-edition (non-industrial) or historically significant work, curate serious (researched) exhibitions, and play a role in the international collector market. Clear Gallery is the brainchild of Yoichi Nakamuta, better known internationally as the owner of E&Y, a fifteen-year-old Tokyo-based manufacturer and retailer of stylish, colorful, fun home furnishings. Yoichi was involved in commissioning world-famous designers—luminaries such as Ron Arad, Tokujin Yoshioka, Marc Newson, Tom Dixon, Christophe Pillet, Michael Young and Richard Hutten—to develop products for E&Y, many of which have been acquisitioned by major international design museums (for example, MoMA New York, Design Museum London, Musée des Arts Décoratifs Paris). This international engagement has made Yoichi an ambassador of Japanese design, introducing some of Japan’s greatest talents to the West for the first time.
Place Aoyama, 4-2-5 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku
Tokyo 150-0002, Japan