“She is our own, the darling of our hearts, Santiniketan.
In the shadows of her trees we meet
in the freedom of her open sky.
Our dreams are rocked in her arms.
Her face is a fresh wonder of love every time we see her,
for she is our own, the darling of our hearts.” – Rabindranath Tagore
Poet-curator Nilanjan Bandyopadhyay has embarked on the cross-cultural creative experiment in 2016, the centenary year of the Nobel laureate’s first Japan visit.Poet Rabindranath Tagore was so impressed with Japanese arts and architecture that he had once written, had it been possible he would take an entire Japanese house, decked up with its furniture, to Bengal. Over a century after the bard’s first of five visits to Japan in 1916, his dream is materialising in West Bengal’s Santiniketan.
The team was led by an architect Kengo Sato, Kazuhiro Aoshima (carpenter), Miku Watanabe (fashion designer), Nobuhiko Kawahara (doll maker), Shigeru Sebe (painter) and Sayuri Hashimoto (mending designer).Minimalism, which is central to Japanese aesthetics, lies at the core of the experiment. “There is nothing that violates the essential spirit of humbleness and sacrifice,” said Sato.
Stepping into the house transports one to a different culture