Yousai Inoue

“New breath”. Papier-mache with coat of urushi.

  • Dolls
  • Presented in 2020
  • H 23.0 cm
  • Contact for Price

Category Dolls
Year Presented 2020
Dimensions H 23.0 cm
Exhibition The 67th Japan Traditional Kōgei Exhibition

  • Papier-mâché dolls

    Papier-mâché dolls (harinuki ningyō) are made using one of two methods. The first method, known as uchibari (“inner pasting”), is done by taking a plaster mold of a clay form. Washi paper is then built up on the inside of the mold to create the body of the doll. Once dry, the doll is removed from the mold, and the shape is touched up with tōso (a modeling compound made of paulownia sawdust and paste). The surface of the doll is coated with a white paint of pulverized shells called gofun and further decorated with colored paint and pieces of fabric or washi paper. For the second method, known as sotobari (“outer pasting”), layers of paper are added to a wooden form to create the doll.

Yousai Inoue

photo Yousai Inoue

1. My source of creation is insatiable curiosity and spirit of inquiry. My imagination is added to this, a theme is born, followed by the form and colors. 2. A doll is made in the form of a human, but I want to keep it dreamy in a way. I want to make pure, beautiful and cute dolls that people would want to keep beside them for a long time. 3. I mainly use wooden core covered with tōso (mixture of paulownia sawdust and paste) to make the dolls, but I sometimes make papier- mâché dolls and carved wooden dolls. 4. I cover the dolls with paper or cloth. Recently, I use mineral pigments and urushi lacquer to paint the dolls. 5. I started using urushi lacquer because of its excellent durability. I hope my dolls will remain as they are now even after I'm gone..