Shoichi Sakurai’s exhibition “The Art of Enlightenment” opened at Wa Space on November 15th, 2014 to great excitement from a wide range of attendees (including us!). 4 months of planning resulted in 140 individual pieces being placed around the entire Wa Space to create the best exhibition we’ve had so far.And while the pieces themselves are each beautiful works of art, having them all gathered and displayed in one place in Tokyo brought out of them an even greater beauty. A strong part of Shoichi’s appeal is his ability to create atmosphere and environment – even 1 piece of his affects everything else around it, noticeably changing the feel of the space. When you have a large number of them together, the resulting explosion of warmth and texture is a thing of wonder.But one mustn’t forget Shoi’s work ethic, either. Taken beyond just the visual realm, the materials he chooses and works with are themselves storied and inspired. During the opening, he enthusiastically explained the gruelling process of making his signature pleated washi paper, lovingly crafted from the wood and bark he hunts down himself; his newest piece, Wa (give you 1 guess where the name comes from!) is fashioned out of a forgotten piece of real-deal samurai armor, assembled, cut, and lit with the warm light that only he seems to be able to create.Wa Space was truly transformed by Shoi’s many talents and many pieces, not just by their beauty, but also by the stories and the artist behind them. We are thrilled to have this admittedly-short period to bring his works out in to greater view, and had an absolutely wonderful time discussing the man and presenting his works to all who were in attendance.