Yumiko Nagaoka

Screen for tea ceremony brazier with sunago. “Atmospheric”

  • Sunagowork
  • Presented in 2019
  • H 54 x W 188 cm
  • Not for Sale

Category Sunagowork
Year Presented 2019
Dimensions H 54 x W 188 cm
Exhibition The 66th Japan Traditional Kōgei Exhibition

  • Sunagowork

    Sunago is a traditional technique to draw patterns with gold and silver leaf made into fine, sand-like powder using a bamboo cylinder with a mesh net set in the bottom.
    The gold / silver powder is dusted on to a sheet of paper where animal glue is applied, and is pressed down lightly with Japanese paper.
    Sunago has been used to decorate picture scrolls and writings such as handwritten copies of sutras since the end of the Heian period (794 - 1185), and in the Edo period (1603 - 1868), it was also used to decorate folding screens and fusuma (sliding paper doors) paintings. Today, sunago techniques are used for decorating fusuma and other crafts such as furosaki byobu, a folding screen used for a summer-style tea ceremony.

Yumiko Nagaoka

photo Yumiko Nagaoka

Sunago zaiku is a traditional Japanese craft using gold and silver leaf which has been passed down for generations for one thousand years since the Heian period (from 794 to 1185) up to this day. Sunago zaiku was originally used as a supplementary decoration for picture scrolls and paintings. However, by making Sunago zaiku the main part of the artwork, the expression methods and skills have enhanced. The graceful beauty of nature is expressed with gradations and traditional techniques of gold and silver leaf decoration . Gold leaf is very thin (0.0001mm) and difficult to use, but at the same time it is a protean and fascinating material. By making powder with the gold leaf, the brightness becomes soft and warm. Making layers of the gold powder will add a sense of depth to the artwork. The impression of the gold leaf decoration also changes as the intensity and color of light changes with the cycle of seasons and flow of time. The appearance changes everyday, and this is what makes Sunago interesting and uniquely beautiful. Join me in treasuring each moment and enjoying the changes of the seasons.