Contemporary Japanese Urushi Lacquer Sculpture For Sale
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Contemporary Japanese Urushi Lacquer Sculpture

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About

Kurimoto Natsuki is an urushi lacquer artist who was born in 1961. He graduated in 1985 from the Kyoto University of Fine Arts. By 1987 that organization had granted him a master’s degree. He had a solo exhibition of lacquer work three years before that in Kyoto, which was held at the prestigious Suzuki Gallery. Naturally the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts Gallery was proud to show his work a year after that. He even won the Kyoto’s mayor prize as well, which allowed the municipality to purchase a piece of his art. A particularly prominent exhibition was held in 1993 at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation gallery. After that, the artist began teaching at Kyoto University of Fine Arts. His work has actually been shown in Europe before. Back in the 1980s, it was shown at the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris. In the grand scheme of things, that isn’t too far off from where his work will be on display at the Yakimono Gallery in Paris. His shining academic credentials tell little about how an artist really is. Fortunately Kurimoto-sensei is amazing. Viewers will be able to figure this out quite easily as a result. Naturally his work is very striking, and this is a trait that’s hard to shake when it comes down to it. For instance, it’s easy to see that the artist puts a lot of work into his pieces when combining different types of materials together. Some of his work was made as urushi lacquer pieces that were placed on top of wooden and metallic structures, for instance. Other pieces were presented almost as sheets. The most striking, though, are his large almost installation sized pieces of lacquer work. The word installation isn’t often said when it comes to lacquer, but then again this is an unconventional artist as it is. Basically the artist has created giant installations that are in the shapes of robes and other garments. If this were not enough to be shocking the coloration and patterns might very well surprise some people. They are quite bright and the colors themselves are in contrast to sharp glossed black lacquer driven all across the surface of the material. In some ways this even gives it a unique sort of African feel that few other artists would have even really endeavored to try. He’s certainly worth checking out to say the least. -- The sculpture is made with urushi lacquer, Japanese paper and hemp cloth. The artwork is signed by the artist on the bottom. Personal statement: “It has been more than thirty years since I first time came across the material, Urushi (lacquer). The more I get to know it, the more I become fascinated by the marvel of the material. Japanese Lacquer work (Shitsugei) is an art form created with the tree sap from Urushi trees as its base. Urushi art work can be created by paining Urushi sap on various materials or penetrating through them. I always feel that Urushi sap is just like blood for human beings. Urushi Sap is the source of the life of Urushi trees. So long as I receive the life of trees from Urushi trees and use it as the materials of my work, it is no use if I don’t create a new life through my work. This is, I believe, what my work is coming from. For this exhibition, I created several colorful wall-hanging pieces and boxes with the combinations of colour lacquer and mother of pearl technique called Raden zaiku. I hope you will enjoy the beauty of decorative art of Urushi.” - Natsuki KURIMOTO --- What is urushi lacquer? Urushi is one of Japan’s oldest and most prestigious art forms. The word “Urushi“ is used to indicate the sap extracted from the tree which grows only in Japan and in parts of Southeast Asia. Traditionally, it is thought that the Japanese word derived from uruwashi (nice, pleasant) and uruosu (wet and luxurious). The Urushi, in fact, is a commonly appreciated lacquer for its brilliance, elegance and luster that gives objects covering. What makes the Urushi different than the other lacquers is its particular way of drying: This, in fact, does not follow a standard process, but instead requires exposure to temperature and humidity specifications (that is, between 10-20 degrees centigrade and between 70 and 90 percent humidity). The collection process requires that the natural resin is extracted in the period from June to November, via the parallel incisions on the Urushi tree trunk to make it come out the sap. The rarity and the high commercial value of the sap extracted are due to the fact that every single tree, in a period of about 15 years, produces only 200 grams of Urushi. Once collected, the sap is filtered several times through a hemp cloth and the water content is evaporated from the raw lacquer, thereby obtaining the first urushi said clear. Subsequently, to obtain the color pigments are added; the red lacquer can be “colored“ with addition of small amounts of iron oxides, obtaining red or black depending on the chosen oxide. The lacquer is then applied on the object desired waiting to dry completely before moving on to the next layer, repeating this process several times before moving on to the final polishing. When decorating, the lacquer is often sprinkled with gold or silver dust and gold leaf or pearl inlays are applied, as well as to be more shiny and bright. To obtain a finished object several months of work are required: greater is the number of layers of lacquer used, drying time become longer and higher value assumes the object in question. Appreciated since ancient times for its adhesive and preservative properties, Urushi was initially used for war and hunting weapons. The first lacquer objects, such as combs and trays, were found 5.500 years ago in Japan, in Shimahama Tomb, in Fukui Prefecture. Later, he began to appreciate this type of lacquer for other characteristics. The treated objects, in fact, could be used for aesthetic reasons, used, also, as a strenghtening and water-proofing agent. For example, from the VI century A.D. buddhist monks reached Japan from Korea and gave new stimulus to local Craft which began to use lacquer to decorate buddhist statues. Although wood is the most used material as a base for the objects to be lacquered, also the metal, ceramics, and fabric are suitable for this purpose. In the Japanese process called Kanshitsu – formerly used especially for the realization of the samurai armor – the lacquer is mixed with cooked wand raw clays and then applied to a mold with canvas layers. Through this technique it was possible to produce objects without the need to use a wood core.     

Details

  • Creator
    Natsuki Kurimoto (Author)
  • Production Type
    New & Custom(One of a Kind)
  • Production Time
    Available Now
  • In the Style Of
  • Place of Origin
  • Date of Manufacture
    2015
  • Dimensions
    H 10.24 in. x W 31.5 in. x D 1.97 in.H 26 cm x W 80 cm x D 5 cm
  • Seller Location
    Milan, IT
  • Reference Number
    LU4569114535252
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