Exemplifying a perfect marriage of art and functionality, the Asian Shoji screen is both beautiful and useful. Chinese in origin and dating from the eighth century AD, the original Shoji screens were intended as immobile works of art. Later, the Japanese reinvented and re-imagined the screens, using lighter woods and rice paper so they could be moved easily throughout the home. Today it is still common to find Asian Shoji screens that have been built in the craftsmanship of age-old artisan technique, in keeping with traditions handed down over many generations.
Much of the Japanese aesthetic is inspired by the philosophy of Buddhism. Seeking to create meditative, intentional living spaces, Shoji screens are designed to be concurrently beautiful and useful. Striving for calm over clutter, pieces are straightforward and understated, but always striking.
Considered a fixture in traditional Japanese living spaces, many Japanese Western-style homes utilize Asian Shoji screens as well. Modern international designers include these functional artworks to divide a space or to cast a beautiful glow in a room while providing privacy or blocking direct sunlight. Asian Shoji screens are also commonly seen as accent pieces, adding a touch of elegance to any dwelling.
While most Shoji screens are still made with paper panels, more contemporary versions now incorporate modern aesthetics such as grass or bamboo. In the interest of blending Western and Eastern styles, it is increasingly popular to find Shoji screens that reflect traditional Western tastes. More colors are becoming available, and designers have begun to take liberties in creating more daring and expressive fusion pieces.
Whether you are looking for the calm serenity of traditional Japanese style, or if you seek a blend of East and West, Asian Shoji screens continue to be an elegant and sophisticated home decor favorite. No matter how you choose to use your Shoji screen, you are certain to be inspired by its usefulness and beauty.