*Paper maché from Kanazawa as pictured on Makari's website.
Located on 3rd avenue, the quaint Japanese antique store Makari stands in stark contrast to the busy streets of East Village. The dimly lit space resembles a museum more than it does a store. Indeed, the store serves as an exhibition as well with different artists' work being displayed on rotation. In terms of products, much like the items in a curated exhibition, each item is selectively chosen in Japan by Makari's owner.
Products range from fine art prints to antique dishware. Furthermore, the store showcases various Japanese artists in the space; the website provides detailed explanations on respective artists' works. A future exhibition from May 12-June 1st features contemporary artist Kumiko Higami's Fruit Parfait collection--perfect for summer! Makari's comprehensive representation of Japanese artists makes it a reliable source of Japanese art culture; everything purchased has a history and meaning behind it.
The dishware displayed throughout the store have unique uses within Japanese culture. Sake cups and tea ceremony cups are the most recognizable, but they also feature dishware for more niche uses. For instance, the soba choko tableware are used specifically for eating Japanese soba and are a popular collector's item. Even within dishes and plates, each design is distinctive and intricately decorated.
One type of bowl featured on Makari's website (pictured below) is a kintsugi bowl that we would like to spotlight for its value beyond its practical use. Kintsugi translates to "golden repair," which looks like painted gold lines on the surface of dishes. In reality, they have been previously broken and repaired with liquid gold. The technique dates back to the fifteenth century and has come to symbolize the beauty of life's scars.
There's much more to explore at Makari, whether you're looking to find contemporary artists' works or pieces with historical roots. Because the owner frequently changes spotlighted products, each visit is a different experience. If you're in the NYC area, stop by 97 Third Avenue to learn more about the cultural significance behind Japanese antiques.