Kei Kato’s Artistic Fusion of Nature and Design
Born and raised in Miyagi Prefecture, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and ever-changing seasons, Kei Kato developed a deep appreciation for nature from an early age. Surrounded by majestic mountains, flowing rivers, and captivating rock formations, Kato’s fascination with the organic forms found in the natural world began to shape his creative journey. Today, he is an artist and designer dedicated to bringing the beauty of flowers into people’s lives through his innovative products.
Kato’s interest in the enchanting allure of flowers, with their mysteriously regular beauty and ability to evoke deep emotions, became a driving force behind his work. While Japan is well-known for the traditional art of “ikebana,” Kato sought to develop products that would empower everyday individuals to incorporate flowers into their lives in ways that reflect their personal vision and imagination.
Not only does Kei Kato possess a keen eye for capturing nature’s essence, but he also excels in conceptualizing playful products and spaces that uplift and calm the human spirit. Drawing from the inherent shapes and natural movements found in various materials, Kato infuses his designs with an organic charm that resonates with people on a profound level. His unique ability to imbue products with both shape and movement creates an immersive experience that engages all the senses.
After completing his studies at the prestigious Tohoku University of Art and Design, Kato delved into researching flowers and decorations during his graduate school years. Following this enlightening period, he secured a position at a company in Kyoto that aimed to introduce traditional crafts to the world. Here, Kato not only honed his skills but also shared his knowledge by teaching students the art of crafting Kiyomizuyaki, a renowned type of pottery.
Subsequently, Kato ventured into the world of design and production, working with a flower shop and e.m.design in Tokyo. Through these experiences, he gained invaluable insights into creating captivating displays and transforming spaces to bring out the best in floral arrangements. With his accumulated knowledge and expertise, Kato eventually established his own venture called ITSUKA.
One of Kato’s notable creations is the “Dancing Flower.” This unique device features an organic shape akin to an accessory, with a 15mm diameter hole that perfectly accommodates a single flower. By adjusting the position of the device’s head, the flower’s center of gravity can be changed, allowing for versatile display angles when mounted on a wall. This delightful innovation adds a touch of vibrant color to any space and imbues each flower with a sense of purpose and intention.
The “Dancing Flower” boasts two primary functions. On one side, it supports the weight of the flower’s head, ensuring a stable display. On the other side, it prevents the tip of the stem from inadvertently rising, preserving the intended aesthetic. It is important to note that this device is not suitable for hard wooden or concrete walls; instead, it is recommended for use on plasterboard walls where a thumbtack can be easily inserted.
Looking towards the future, Kei Kato envisions expanding his range of offerings by developing models of the “Dancing Flower” that utilize magnets and suction cups. These advancements will offer even greater flexibility and adaptability when incorporating floral elements into diverse environments, bringing his creations to a wider audience.