Wa Space, Akasaka


Dominic Carter is a man who clearly enjoys having his fingers in many pies. Founder of successful market research company Carter Associates and popular food blogger at Eating Out in Tokyo with Dominic he neatly balances business with pleasure.

His latest (ad)venture is in the Japanese art world. The amiable Australian’s Wa Group recently opened its first Wa Space in the cultured backstreets of Akasaka. With nearly two years of planning behind it Wa Space will be used as an exhibition space, store and event space with the initial idea of inviting a guest Japanese artist to showcase every month.

To open the space Cater and his group invited acclaimed Tochigi based textile artist Hideo Tao of Studio Garaya. The inaugural exhibition is titled “Sakura and the Art of Dyeing” which ties in nicely with the upcoming cherry blossom season which sees millions of Tokyoites fighting for a perfect spot at one of the city’s parks in order to drink, eat and appreciate the sakura blossom.

Tao is a master of traditional dying techniques using natural materials such as local fruit, vegetable and plant extracts. On display and to purchase are some beautifully crafted tapestries, small decorative screens and delicate hand-painted sakura cloths. Tao’s attention to detail and craftmanship earned him the official Heritage Artisan of Japan in 2008. In addition to the work of Studio Garaya are pieces from other Japanese artisans including artists from Iwate and Osaka.

Carter ultimately sees Wa Sapce as having an ideology rooted in the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi. “It is in nature that we find our deepest truth. The uniquely Japanese ideal of Wabi Sabi is the embodiment of nature’s modesty and simplicity. This natural elegance inspires objects of transcendental taste and beauty for your life and home, and the Wa Group is your guide to discovering these items for yourself.”


Written by
Paul McInnes
Austin James Rea