Shoji Lamp-A Calming Influence
Many people in the West like to use motifs and themes about their living space that pay homage to the culture and artistry of countries like Japan and China. For instance, concepts like Feng Shui which has its origins in Chinese astronomy is extremely popular in The US as a means of laying out your home in the most auspicious way.
Similarly many American home owners love to incorporate house furniture and other items of Occidental origin to add character to their homes. The shoji lamp is one way to add character to your home in way that adds the far eastern aestheric while at the same time being very functional.
The Simplicity of Shoji Lamps
Shoji lamps can be relatively simple to highly complex depending on how you wish to incorporate it into your home decor. For instance, it can be a simple as a square box with plain rice paper used in the framework surrounding a simple incandescent bulb placed on the floor.
take a look at this Shoji lamp to the right. It has a simple square boxed lamp set up on four legs like a small table. You can't get any simpler than that yet look at the elegance and harmony that this lamp instills from its light source.
This kind of Shoji floor lamp is perhaps the most popular simply by virtue of a non complicated placement. No complicated mounting required as would would be required with a shoji hanging lamp. Same thing goes for a shoji table lamp. You could similarly put this type of lamp on a mantlepiece, on a buffett, on a side table and even over a fireplace sans legs and maybe a smaller sized box.
How Shoji Lamps Illuminate
Most shoji floor lamps are square or cylindrically shaped with legs that raise the effective illumination area of the lamp so that the light is more evenly distributed about a room.
Check out this teahouse lamp to the right. It is in a classic Chinese pagoda style of design that is based on lamps that were used in tea houses in ancient China. This size which is under a cubic foot is great as a shoji tabeltop lamp for a side table, a buffet, or even in a what not.
You can use a simple commercial grade of rice paper as it is called that will do a good job of transforming the glaring light from an incandescent bulb into a marvelously subtle and diffused light source that brings an atmosphere of calm and serenity to any room.
As our lives in the west become hectic and overloaded, many people seek the sanctuary of a home furnished with simple furnishings that creates an open and clutter free feeling. A shoji lamp creates a minimalistic look but is quite flexible in its placement.
Shoji Lamp Design and Function
Japanese shoji lamps can even be found outdoors hanging from trees in the form of illuminated globes of light that are popular in many gardens. These outdoor shoji inspired lights are modern interpretations of the shoji tradition in that the importance of a diffused light source remains.Check out this one to the right
The modern part is that these Exterior shoji hanging lamps are solar powered and often use the yellower types of led lights for illumination. These shoji lights do not need to be wired and come on only at night revealing a beautiful zen like atmosphere in your garden for relaxing outdoors when the weather gets warm to outdoor partying and entertaining.
They also are a green lighting option since they are solar powered an their impact on the environment is negligible since their bulbous frames are made from thin bamboo reeds bent into concentric circles and the paper is of course made from mulberry wood. So it is completely biodegradable except for the lighting parts.
Art, Tradition, Mood and The Shoji Lamp
Painted shoji lamps are more traditional animals in the shoji tradition. The paper is often full of traditional Japanese cultural icons like the Samurai or Geisha Women akin to this lamp to the right. Many are hand painted scenes but most images are simply printed onto the rice paper.
The scenes themselves are translucent so when the light is on the images come to life whether they be scenic images or simple cherry blossom motifs.Whatever the design, these lamps are great for when you want a certain type of mood to dominate the room in which you have your shoji light.
For instance, if you have multiple small shoji table lamps in your den painted with messages in Japaneses characters, this look gives an entirely different mood to the room as opposed to the large, heavy loking shoji floor lamps with furniture grade wood polished to perfection depicting samurai fight scenes.
Both would have a cultural message howver they would create vastly different ambiences in their respectice spaces.
Shoji Lamp Video
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