Spanish Chromatic Still Lifes · Japan

· Curatorial, Interior Design

Tokonoma: Captivating the gaze

From 30 October to 1 November, the Embassy of Spain in Tokyo hosted the exhibition Spanish Chromatic Still Lifes, curated by Belén Moneo. The event has been organized by ICEX Spain Trade and Investments and the Economic and Commercial Office of Spain in Tokyo with the aim of bringing Spanish interior design to the Japanese market and positioning it for the 2020 Olympic Games.

It is the fourth exhibition of the Spanish Habitat Design in Tokyo that consolidates a strategy started in 2005, that seeks to show the Japanese public the creativity, quality and variety of the Spanish products in this sector.

Moneo Brock since its inception has been an architecture studio focused on the taste for interior design and furniture. Their projects have been marked by attention to the human scale, to the intrinsic characteristics of the materials, to the appropriate choice of each material for each condition, and to the precise execution of the constructive details.

Spanish Chromatic Still Lifes has been developed from the concept of “bodegón” (still life), a composition of natural or man-made objects in a given space. This pictorial concept uses composition, design, chromaticism and light to produce a serene and balanced set.


Following these principles, the exposition displays 7 chromatic still lifes that group a collection of objects, materials and unique pieces of Spanish Design in harmonic arrangement. Each still life is defined by a characteristic chromatic range offering a relational narrative that goes beyond the isolated object in the exhibition space. The result is a sequence of monochromatic spaces, aesthetically beautiful, that show the diverse and complex panorama of design in Spain.

These scenes frame and heighten the different sets of elements chosen for their high technical quality and combined for their aesthetic attribute. In the Japanese imaginary, there is a concept known as tokonoma:  a domestic space reserved for the deliberate and equal arrangement of objects of great symbolic value (e.g. ikebana, bonsai, kakemono, etc.) in order to captivate our gaze. The still lifes are composed by ten Spanish Companies: six furniture companies (Blasco Vila, Capdell, Expormim, Kettal, Sancal and Sellex); three lighting companies (Almerich, Estiluz, LZF Lamps) and one of carpets and textile coating company, (Naturtex).

Within the framework of the exhibition, on 30 October a seminar will be held at the Embassy with a morning and afternoon session. During the seminar, Belén Moneo will introduce the exhibition to the audience, and will then be joined by Spanish designer Francesc Rifé for a panel discussion on the current state of Spanish Design.


The exhibition has been coordinated and financed by ICEX with the support of Narita graphic Studio.


ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones

Tokyo, Japan

3,670 sqft

Belén Moneo, Jeff Brock

Yaiza Camacho, Daniel Bernal,
Francisco Blázquez, Irene Alberdi