Episode 1: Welcome to Japan
The Artedomus Expert Series
Japan

Words Rose Onans

The tradition of ceramics in Japan is steeped in history. It is a tradition whose significance is a reflection of Japanese culture, and one that is driven by passion.

For Artedomus, filming the Expert Series was an opportunity to share the stories, places, and history that the team experience and discover in greater depth each time they visit Japan. “At Artedomus, we love to tell stories and one of the best stories that we have is the story of INAX and the story of Japanese ceramics,” says Phil Brenton, managing director of Artedomus.

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Artedomus has a long relationship with INAX, and the Artedomus team regularly travels to Japan to visit the INAX factories.

Travelling to Japan gives Artedomus the chance to visit the ceramic factories in person, meet with the suppliers, and select new products to bring to Australia. “It never ceases to amaze me I’ve been here a number of times, and every time I come back, I see something else that simply blows my mind,” says William Pearse, Artedomus Melbourne sales manager.

“At Artedomus, we love to tell stories and one of the best stories that we have is the story of INAX and the story of Japanese ceramics.”

Regularly visiting Japan is also a means of experiencing the way in which ceramic tiles have been used in Japanese architecture and design, both historically and in the present day. In doing so, the team has gained a unique appreciation and understanding of how integral the context of Japanese history and culture is to the tiles that are produced.

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Tiles are integral to Japanese architecture and design and are grounded in a long tradition of ceramics production.

“You walk down a street of Tokyo and you can see such contrast,” says Matthew Croll, Artedomus Sydney sales manager. “You go to different parts of Japan, rural areas of Japan where some of the factories are that we go to, the people are very humble, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s something I think that we lose in Australia; in a way we have a tendency to focus on ourselves and own little world.”

For Artedomus, filming the Expert Series was an opportunity to share the stories, places, and history that the team experience and discover in greater depth each time they visit Japan.

Yassaman Bahar, senior sales at Artedomus Melbourne, says, “I feel like everything is a little bit more focused on the ceremony [in Japan]. The way you eat, the way you greet people. And it’s interesting the different building materials that they use and where they use them and why they use them, and the importance of how it’s made and how that affects them culturally.”

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The INAX tiles that Artedomus has introduced to architects and designers in Australia have become some of the industry’s most well-loved products.

In this way, Artedomus’ connection to the tradition of ceramics production in Japan is grounded in an appreciation for the fact that the tiles are far more than just the sum of their parts. It goes toward expressing why some materials have an intangible but genuinely powerful presence when used in architecture and design. As Matthew Croll expresses, “You see a tile [and] you look at it in a way that perhaps is very two dimensional. But to see this ancient art, the people watching [the Expert Series] will hopefully get an appreciation of the materials, the places, and the people that make these tiles.”

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