The Mingei Project is an endeavour by Marty Gross to restore and enhance rare and unedited film footage documenting the life of British artist-craftsman Bernard Leach and the origins of the Mingei (Folk Craft) Movement in Japan, which remains of enduring influence to this day.
The K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation has been an ongoing sponsor of The Mingei Film Archive Project which to date has preserved about forty films. The image below is a screenshot from one of the restored works, the image on the right is the original and on the left is the restored version.
Over the past 35 years, filmmaker Marty Gross has collected films and unedited film footage documenting celebrated British artist-craftsman, Bernard Leach and the origins of the Mingei (Folk Craft) Movement in Japan, which remains of enduring influence to this day.
The artistic and philosophical concepts of the Mingei Movement which began in 1926 has had a profound impact on arts and crafts worldwide through the works and writings of its three central figures: Soetsu Yanagi, Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada.
Much has been written about this intellectual and artistic movement, though controversial in some circles, its influence remains irrefutable. The purpose of this project is not to take sides in a debate but to assemble and present this legacy of ideas on craftsmanship in moving picture form; to bring alive through films and interviews the period of discovery and development of the Mingei philosophy.
To learn more about the project or to view some of the works, click here.
Main photo from the film “Trip to Japan Filmed by Bernard Leach”, 1934-35 (70 minutes)