Tools and utensils have extended the arms, hands and feet of humans since the beginning of our time on earth. Tools used in the workshop and utensils used in the home continue to occupy imaginative and clever designers in an ongoing quest to improve the ease and comfort with which we carry out all manner of tasks and jobs in our day to day lives.
The ideal of form following function is naturally applied in the design of tools and utensils, in responding to the needs and demands of the human body. Tools and utensils that don’t feel good in the hand or don’t work well simply get neglected or discarded – replaced by what handles and works better. Good design leads to ease of functioning as well as to what is beautiful -- to tools and utensils we can recognize as and call art.
This exhibition presents such artful objects of daily use from cultures across the globe. Most are hand-made, traditional forms; but there is, also, a selection of machine-made and contemporary objects – all good to handle, effective in use, satisfying to the eye and enjoyable to have around. This is mingei – art of the world and art of the people.