Something new to experience once again... These couple of months, I have been to events which I wouldn't have found without the internet. Actually most of the events I attend to are either referred to by my friends and/or I was invited by someone. Strange, isn't it? A town where you live in has many events and not everyone of them, that peeks your interest, will find its way onto your lifeline. You have to either know the right people, have the right connections or be a social media follower to discover the hidden ones. Of course, there are still a few that are hidden to most of us because it is invite only but isn't it nice that the time has changed? You do not have to wait till you receive a letter from someone, you do not have to sign up for any mailingslist. Meeeh, mailinglists most of it would have been added to my pile of spam. Anywho...
I planned to go to the Mono Japan exposition in a hotel in the afternoon after work... So I did after I started with a "kind of" Japanese meal for lunch. I had Yaki udon at Wagamama. Haven't been there for years but I still remember this dish. And I had to silence my inner voice that craved for some kind of noodle. The julienned orange ginger and sprinkles of black and white sesam seeds were a happy delight on top of the daunting, huge pile of udon with various greens, chicken, fish and spring onions. There was also a surprise in the middle of the pile of Japanese noodles, I found a shrimp! It was very unexpected, because the menu didn't mention shrimp. The dish however is very heavy, so I have definitely eaten part of my dinner as well.
Mono Japan was hosted in a hotel not very far from the city center of Amsterdam. The facade of the hotel itself looked like three, four, perhaps five 'Herengrachten' houses next to one another. When I walked in, I had the feeling of walking into a huge school. In front of me was a table with a lady sitting behind it. She gave me a sticker, which is the entrance pass, and gave me a booklet with lectures, workshops and a list of room numbers where there are expositions. I pushed another door open en entered a hallway. The school feeling lingered around the hallways, but the restaurant in front of me gave me a 60-ties feeling. The bar and the style of tables, carpet and chairs.
I visited every hotelroom number that was mentioned in the book. The rooms were spread out over floor 0, 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6. Each room was an exposé from another brand or supplier. They are all from other regions from Japan, which made the rooms have their own unique style. You can still see that the rooms are hotel rooms, due to the bathroom, sink, lamps and shape of the room. But the room was mainly filled with Japanese things (aka mono).
There were beautiful objects:
- Speakers with wood as exterior ~ some can be hung like a lamp from the ceiling, others can stand on four wooden legs, some look like a tower with heighted roof on its head to release the sound and some were a cube.
- Colourful incense ~ the smell of coffee, green tea, various flowers and even scents with names of people who have created the incense themselves. I bought two sample packs of two different series, "The Japanese Fragrance Series by Awaji Island Koh-shi" and "The fragrances of Japan Collection The Sakuyakonohana Incenses".
- Pots for plants ~ I loved these! The pot looks like a lantern from the time of Charles Dickens, glass and iron borders with a bottom that has four square windowed holes. You put the plant in the lantern part and the roots go down through the four square windowed holes to the bottom part of the lantern which is filled with water. There was also a round version of it, completely made of glass. They looked super cute.
- Sharp things ~ various Japanese styled knives, scissors for gardening and cooking, blades for cooking. They looked very handy, but I don't think I need it in my kitchen.
- Cooking pots/serving utilities ~ Lovely clay pots that can be used in the oven as well as on a stove, beautiful bowls, wooden boxes, porcelain boxes, wooden trays. There were a few pots, I would love to have or perhaps also a few plates.
- Molds for Japanese sweets ~ Have you ever eaten a mochi, that is made of fluffy, sticky dough with a sweet filling in it made of a certain bean paste? It is delicious! You should definitely try it at least once in your live. This room didn't only sell these kinds of sweets but also presented the molds. The shapes were a fish, various flowers in different sizes. And there was a man sitting behind the piano playing classical music totally not related to the things from Japan, but he was being instructed by a Japanese guy; what to play first and to play next.
- Art pieces ~ Posters, sculptures, bags, vases, pots. All not in my style, but someone will love them?
- Clothes ~ toga kind of shirts, scarves, pants, dresses. These were very expensive, I was thinking how can anyone afford these kinds of clothes? They were above hundred euro's, the quality might be good but the cloths were super thin. So you have to layer hundreds of euro's to be warm in the Netherlands...
Overall the exposition was artsy and was mainly targeting big companies to buy and sell their goods in the Netherlands. The lectures and workshops might have been interesting, but I didn't want to wait till one starts to attend one so I skipped it.
It has been awhile, but I feel innovated and energetic again. I love filling my live with these kinds of wonderful/beautiful distractions. Something that inspires me.