Kodama: Timber Joints, Exhibition with Marta

Kodama: Timber Joints, Exhibition with Marta

“Kodama” : Timber Joints was exhibited with Marta, a gallery in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles that showcases makers in the applied arts. Following text is from the gallery press release for the exhibition which opened in March, 2020.

Comprised of seven unique large-scale furniture works, constructed of salvaged California redwood using the principles, methods, and hand-tools of traditional Japanese wood joinery and timber-framing.

Jyuji (Stools) – pictured on their side to show the joinery that describes their form

The pieces, removed from their would-be architectural context, present themselves as thoughtful, monolithic compositions: elegant exaggerations / distillations of joinery details that showcase a mastery of, and reverence for, material, precedent, and procedure.

Ari Hozu (Corner Bench)
Ari Hozu (Corner Bench) – joinery detail

Spanning sculptural abstractions of seating, table surfaces, and consoles, the finished works in “Kodama” outwardly present the processes inherent to their creation: coastal redwood timbers from Palos Verdes and La Canada Flintridge are hand-cut, -sawn, -chiseled, -planed, -joined, and finally blackened using a combination of natural alchemical patination and yakisugi (or shou sugi ban) — the darkening and sealing of wood via spot burning.

Process image of yakisugi
Ari (Bench)

The pieces, expertly devoid of fasteners and glues typical of furniture-making, are at once coarse and refined, offhand and precise, traditional and contemporary.

Watari Ago (Console)

Gently recalling the works of exemplars in minimalist sculpture (e.g. Carl Andre) and mid-century wood-work (e.g. George and later Mira Nakashima), Muscato and Friedman’s recent output builds upon previous academic studies and more than a decade of experience in Japanese-style carpentry, timber-framing, and architectural building.

Watari Ago (Console) – detail

“Kodama” — loosely translated from its context in Japanese folklore as ‘wood spirits’ or ‘spirits of the trees’ — is Base 10’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.

Wanagi Komi (Console)
Installation view at Marta, Los Angeles
Featured Articles:

Liebal: “Kodama by Base 10”, by Leo Lei. Published March 9, 2020.

This is Paper: “Kodama by Base 10” Published March 19, 2020.

Hyperallergic: “GETTING TO NOH: MYTHS OF JAPANESE MINIMALISM” by Glen Adamson. Published, May 31, 2020.

Ignant: Base 10’s Kodama Collection Features Geometric Forms And Blackened Timber by Stephanie Wade. Published, June 3, 2020