Isamu Noguchi Akari Lamp


Isamu Noguchi was a designer and sculptor of Japanese heritage who lived in America. His art reflects his entwining of cultures. Son of Japanese poet Yone Noguchi and American writer Leonie Gilmour, it was natural that he would find their passion for creativity taking root in him. He studied at Columbia University and at the Leonardo da Vinci Art School before creating his own studio and becoming an assistant to Constantin Brâncuși. This, along with a trip to New York, helped expose him to new influences. When travelling in China he learnt about brush painting and whilst in Japan he studied pottery and working with clay.

Light and effective:

Among Isamu Noguchi's most well known works are the collections of the Akari Lamp. These were inspired by the lamps that floated on water to guide Japanese fishermen home. In Japanese, Akari means "light." Creating this lamp between 1951 and 1987 allowed Noguchi to expand his previous sculptural designs. There are three principle shapes - round, oval and cauliflower - but more geometric forms such as sushi, triangulated and the square tower also exist. Paper is used to make the lamp. When it is switched on, it fills its surroundings with light.


Isamu Noguchi's art uses a simplicity of form and mix of cultures to reflect the artist's own life. His influences are primarily organic.