It is no surprise then that most of us are entranced by Japan — not only by the beauty of the country and its culture, but by the seemingly simple objects that add a touch of luxury to the everyday, whether it's a plate, a wooden vessel, or a chair. Thankfully, one does not have to travel far to experience these products. In Singapore, a handful of specialty boutiques that specialize in such craft are cropping up, introducing this brand of Japanese luxury to discerning customers who value provenance and longevity over loud logos and ubiquity.
Luxury in the Details
30 Apr 2021
It’s not always about the price tag — true Japanese luxury is best experienced when it’s felt
Experience the Lexus LC for yourself at www.lexus.com.sg/en/models/lc.html
There is an inherent touch of luxury in certain Japanese products that might not immediately be obvious at first glance, typically passed of as something that's simply minimalist. But upon closer inspection, that ceramic tea set or simple wooden bench is a product of tradition and expertise; a product created by someone who has dedicated their life to the craft. Once used, you'll notice that how it feels in your hand, on your lips, or how it cradles your body is a far cry from its mass produced counterpart.
One such place is HULS Gallery Singapore. Located in a quiet corner of Duxton Hill, the gallery showcases fine Japanese crafts, or kogei, driven by the concept of "Roots & Touch". The former describes how the products are deeply native to and nurtured by the various regions of Japan, while the latter encourages us to pick up each item and experience both its appearance and unique feel.
Showcasing over a hundred kogei items, HULS Gallery is akin to a concierge or storyteller that introduces people to the stories and charm within the one-of-a-kind pieces. Each artisanal product that’s available at HULS Gallery is built on centuries of tradition, alongside decades of practice. They are then finished with modern sensibilities, either through form or color, allowing them to fit and complement contemporary lifestyles. Choose among tea and sake ware, glassware, matcha bowls, dishes for fine dining, wooden craft, and art accessories.
Another notable retailer is Retro Colony along Niven Road. More than just a showroom that offers noteworthy Japanese brands, Retro Colony invites us to slow down in this fast-paced digital world by learning and understanding the processes, philosophies, and histories of the products they carry.
Retro Colony aims to introduce its customer to products like furniture and storage that enhance the overall aesthetics of the home. The modest sizes of most modern dwellings are taken into consideration as well, therefore each product is able to fulfill its main function — to beautifully and seamlessly fit. One such brand that Retro Colony carries that fits the bill is Karimoku, particularly the classic Karimoku 60 range. Used in Japanese ryokans, homes, and commercial spaces, Karimoku furniture is made from quality wood and complemented with either leather or fabric upholstery. Light, compact, and designed to last for years, a Karimoku piece is more than just a finishing touch to a home, but an investment.