In 1951 the Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi began to design the Akari Light Sculptures, a group of works handcrafted out of shoji paper that eventually comprised over 100 luminaires – table, floor and ceiling lamps. He chose the name 'akari' for these objects, a word that means 'light' in Japanese, connoting both illumination and physical lightness.
'The light of Akari is like the light of the sun filtered through the paper of shoji. The harshness of electricity is thus transformed through the magic of paper back to the light of our origin – the sun – so that its warmth may continue to fill our rooms at night.' (Isamu Noguchi)