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Grandfather's Envelopes: Works of Paper
by Fujii Sakuko

About Kouzaki Hiromu (Envelope Producer):

Born in 1902 in Nakai, the Noto Peninsular.
At the age of 15 he went to Tokyo to learn carpentry.
He settled in Nakano ward and managed a wood construction business with his brother.
He married in 1929 and had two sons and three daughters.
He worked until the age of 71 as a master builder.
After retiring he enjoyed spending his free time watching television. He called it 'television work.'
From the age of 80 he started his 'works of paper'.

I bought this modest book at my favourite book/toy shop in Sinsadong (more on that later). It's simply a special book full of envelopes - here's why:

Simplicity by Sakata Kazumi:

I wondered why these ordinary things, these "works of paper" made from unwanted articles in our daily lives could move me so deeply. They were neither for sale, nor intended for voluntary purposes. Namelessness, non-intention, ordinariness, nature and form, vessel of beauty, a desire for equality in the perception of appearance, and so on. I tried to apply some of the concepts that I am familiar with to his work but none of them seemed to be quite appropriate. A few days later the word "simplicity" finally came to me. "Simplicity" expresses the feeling that something is fine just as it is; it means a world where things are retained just as they are... If you try to be conscious of the world of "simplicity" then it may disappear.

Ms. Fujii's grandfather was a happy person. The kind of people who are attracted to this work are usually fresh-minded young people and some aged people who continue to be deeply moved and search for ways to express themselves. Actually, these people are few and far between. Ms. Fujii did not overlook her grandfather's work. She discovered it. As a result, the wonderful collection of the family's works of art shown in this book, was created by both of them.

Works of Paper by Fujii Sakuko:

Although I had thought that all of my grandfather's envelopes had been lost, I re-discovered them in the summer of 2005.
My grandfather made them from morning to night using various kinds of paper between the ages of about 80 to 95. I remember thinking how interesting it was to gaze at him while he was working...

At the time I didn't think that there was anything special about him making envelopes but when I saw the envelopes again after some time had passed I felt something completely different...
Through working on the envelopes continuously all day long my grandfather was able to create so many different expressions in his work.
I feel a tremendous strength from these envelopes that were produced from everyday life.

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