Normally when we refer to "decoration," we use the word in the ornamental sense, such as the decorating of a Christmas tree or a wedding cake. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines decoration as "something that adorns, enriches, or beautifies." The fact is, however, that decoration is so ubiquitous that we tend to forget it permeates our lives to such a degree that it is invisible. If we view decoration as any gesture that goes beyond pure functional necessity, we can understand that there is virtually nothing in our lives that has not been formed, crafted, or designed by an outside hand. Interestingly, when we honor a type of decoration we refer to it as an art, but the reality is that decoration transcends art by permeating and contextualizing our everyday lives. The act of decorating is timeless, and as such provides the theme of the current exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, Decoration never dies, anyway.
Read more in in my artscape Japan article posted here: