Japanese Tableware Gallery
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Rainy season

In Japan, The rainy season is right around the corner.
For humans, this long period of rain is cumbersome; for trees of the forest, though, it is blessing. The pouring rain moistens the ground and gives trees the power to survive the hot summer.

Japan's wooded areas are the origination points for lacquerware, the handiwork that is a source of pride for our country. Lacquerware was briskly exported to Europe during the second half of the sixteenth century. It was called 'japan' familiarity. It is noteworthy that Marie Antoinette's lacquerware collections have been part of a very famous exhibition at the Versailles Palace.  

The Process for creating lacquerware begins with shaving Kiji wood and then repeatedly applying lacquer that is tapped from Urushi tree. When lacquer congeals, it turns into a strong and beautiful paint. The more it is used, the more durable and attractive it becomes, unlike other paint products that deteriorate over time.
The advanced process for producing lacquerware was developed during the Stone Age.The procedure has been used to create works of art that include tableware, Buddhist instruments, buildings, and ships. Production is not only practical; it is deeply linked to the Japanese soul.

Lacquerware is created by division of labor; various tasks include shaving wood, applying lacquer to the wood, and decorating the product.
Therefore, a community consisting of people engaged in making it exists at the place of production. Wajima and Yamanaka, Ishikawa Prefecture, are examples of such communities; their handiwork is known as Wajima nuri and Yamanaka nuri. These days, however,many products are introduced under the name of the person who applies the lacquer.

The plate with the low foot pictured above is one of Akisa Takeuchi's works. It is called 'Tubakizara', based on its likeness to the camellia flower.
Ms.Takeuchi lives in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture. She is a very intellectual woman, with a deep knowledge about lacquerware and fine arts in general. Currently, her influence is also directed towards training young people. I found her works by chance, while loitering in the town of Kurashiki, and I was enamoured by the wonderful designs and beautiful colours of her works. Ms.Takeuchi's creations are not only elegant - they are also practical and friendly for everyday use.

Regrettably, lacquerware has acquired an image as being very expensive and for use on special occasions only; it is often forgotten due to an increasingly westernised lifestyle. However, its durability and reparability, as well its compatibility with the environment, make it desirable for improved marketing strategies. I want the merits of lacquerware to be known to many more people.

Tubakizara    Akisa Takeuchi
Size D18−H4.3    Price 14,700Yen

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at  info@gallery-sho.com

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