Gallery de kasuga
~ blending creativity and sesitivity
Gallery de kasuga, in a sleek building behind the Louis Vuitton shop on the prime Omotesando Street, and Tokyo Madam Academy hosted a recent exposition.
The gallery is a commercial facility consisting of a showroom of “hide k 1896” and “blanc bijou,” a lounge and a salon space. The design concept merges shops with academia, where art, science, philosophy and SDGs are shared to foster a novel idea.
Hideyuki Kasuga, Doctor of Engineering, founded the gallery of composite textiles to showcase his brand-name products. His family roots in the hemp wholesale business date back to 1896 in Nagano Prefecture. Dr. Kasuga’s passion is to create a Japanese brand in an industry blending creativity and sensitivity.
◆ “hide k 1896” is the brand name of bags and small articles made of soft carbon material.
Dr. Kasuga developed a pliable, soft carbon that maintains its woven pattern through a trial-and-error process of impregnating thermoplastic, soft resin film to both sides of the textile with temperature and pressure.
Soft carbon, unlike leather, is surprisingly lightweight and resistant to water and scur, unlike weak leather.
We sampled the soft carbon tote bag and can confirm its lightness.
Dr. Kasuga’s “gdk sustainable box” for the collection of products after use is notable. He established a recycling scheme to separate fiber and matrix (resin) for industrial and commercial repurposing.
◆ “Blanc Bijou”, the second brand, is luxurious jewelry, necklaces, and sunglasses made from PTFE (Poly Tetra Fluoro Ethylene), distinguished by their whiteness.
PTFE is widely used in semiconductors and automobiles in the industrial area for its characteristics, such as resistance to acid, alkali, UV rays, and everlasting white.
PTFE is made from fluoric, a finite natural resource that is expected to be depleted in the future. The challenge with PTFE was its inability to be recycled. It was disposed of by landfill after use. Dr. Kasuga discovered a way to recycle PTFE, taking a cue from a binding agent of buckwheat noodles, a local specialty in Nagano Prefecture. He blended PTFE with a special kind of PTFE powder.
Dr. Kasuga believes in the merging of art and science to create innovations that resonate. He expects the gallery to be used for multiple purposes supporting his vision.
In 2012, the brand received the Grand Prix and was selected as a “highlight material” by Maison & Object in Paris, the world’s top exhibition in the design industry. Since then, their product line has expanded to tableware, fine jewelry, and so on.
The art space is also an interesting gallery for contemporary artwork exhibitions.
Above all, we were impressed by Dr. Kasuga’s intrepid spirit in inventing a new synthetic material, creating an original Japanese brand, and establishing a recycling scheme to benefit the environment.
Gallery de kasuga
Path Omotesando Bldg., A
5-6-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 〒150-0001