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Large White Hand-Formed Ghost Lamp by Shiro Kuramata, 1970s


Large, white Oba-Q "Ghost" K-Series lamp by Shiro Kuramata (1934-1991) for Yamagiwa, made in Japan in the 1970s. E-26 medium base, 75w max. The process to make this iconic white lamp was an applied art. Four artisans, one at each corner, held the white acrylic sheet above a mold. The sheet was then warmed, and a person at each corner guided the acrylic down so that the end result resembled the graceful folds of draped fabric. The large size of this spectacular lamp makes a bold statement in a room. Shiro Kuramata (born in Japan, 1934-1991) is 20th century Japan’s leading designer. Kuramata continuously pushed boundaries in the most poetic, elegant and singular way. After studying architecture in Tokyo and then design at Kuwazawa Design school, Shiro Kuramata opened his own company in 1965, the Kuramata Design Office in Japan. Close to Ettore Sottsass, Shiro Kuramata contributes to the Memphis Milano movement with several pieces of furnishing, working along Alessandro Mendini, Martine Bedin, Andrea Branzi, Aldo Cibic, Michele de Lucchi, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Hans Hollein, Matteo Thun, Javier Mariscal, George Sowden, Marco Zanini. In 1988 Kuramata moves to Paris where he founds his design workshop. He is made Knight of the Arts by France in 1990 and his work is part of prestigious museum collections like the MoMa and the French and Japanese museums of Decorative Arts. Shiro Kuramata’s work is mostly produced in limited small editions, which makes it so rare. Yamagiwa is Japan’s leading lighting company since it was founded in 1923. The Memphis Movement was an Italian architecture and design group founded by Ettore Sottsass. The group was active from 1981 to 1987. The Memphis Milano style bears bold colors, geometric and assymetrical shapes, the Postmodern child of Art Deco and Pop Art. It started at a meeting called Memphis, gathering architects and designers organized by Ettore Sottsass at his place. The name comes from a Bob Dylan song that was played repeatedly during the reunion. From that point, Memphis presented their work for the first time at the prestigious Salone del Mobile of Milan in 1981 where it burst into an immediate success, extreme like their creations. Ettore Sottsass leaves the group in 1985, and the group disbands in 1988. As extreme it was and as criticized as it has been, the Memphis movement changed the face of Design and Architecture but not only that; it is now a cultural icon that still strongly influences fashion, graphic design or even music. The Memphis heroes continued with their own practices to spread and evolve the ethos of that wonderful parenthesis in time and creation.  


  • Condition
  • Dimensions

    H 23 in. x W 23 in. x D 23 in.

    H 58.42 cm x W 58.42 cm x D 58.42 cm

  • Seller location
    Chicago, IL
  • Reference number

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Located in Chicago, IL
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