Masakazu Ishihara

Small chest of drawers with kozane (small plates which consist Japanese armor) design in urushi carving and inlay.

  • Lacquerware
  • Presented in 2017
  • H 24.0 x W 27.0 x D 19.9 cm
  • $14,034

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I used the urushi carving and inlay technique that I have been using in my recent artwork and expressed the armor design in a modern style. As I found the technique of sewing on plates with thread to decorate the armor beautiful, I used urushi carving instead of the plates and placed them on the sides and top to express the armor design. By making the plate parts as small as possible, I was able to express the elaborateness of armor. I used 3 similar colors with the image of the "Armor with Red Lacing", a National Treasure which is said to be was owned by Yoshitsune Minamoto.
The sides of the base are concavely shaped while the top is convexly curved. I couldn't have made this intricate form without the help of woodwork artist Mr. Fujii.
For the two vessels inside the box, I used plain maple wood. The contrast of the design on the outer side and the natural wood grain on the inside make the beauty of one another stand out.

Category Lacquerware
Year Presented 2017
Period of creation 6 months
Dimensions H 24.0 x W 27.0 x D 19.9 cm
Materials Kiso cypress, hemp cloth, urushi lacquer
Exhibition The 64th Japan Traditional Kōgei Exhibition

Masakazu Ishihara

photo Masakazu Ishihara

My work is to produce urushi lacquerware, a Japanese traditional craft. From approximately 6,000 years ago, when lacquerware started to be used in daily life, through to the present day, its techniques have been developed into one of the applied fine arts. I am exploring unconventional, new, and innovative lacquerware for the future. While using the most advanced techniques of this traditional craft, I aim to create pieces that beautifully match and can be used in modern life.