Masakazu Ishihara

Aerial View of a Futuristic City Essential Oil Box in Urushi Carving

  • Lacquerware
  • Presented in 2012
  • H 10 x W 30 x D 13 cm
  • $13,938

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As in the title, I made a box for storing essential oil.
Boxes to store incense were produced widely during the Edo period.
I thought it would be a good idea to have a box to store aromatic things other than incense containers in our modern life and made this box.
I measured the size of an essential oil bottle and made this box to store 5 bottles each, 40 bottles in total. I used Japanese horse chestnut with tiger stripes and finished it with wiped urushi.
As for the structure of the box, I placed a partition in the middle and used a total of 8 hinges on both sides.
As I have been producing pieces with designs of motifs from the Edo period up to today from a bird's-eye view during these past few years, I used the design of an aerial view of a futuristic city for this piece.
As I have been doing with my earlier artwork, I placed a magnet in the urushi carved wooden piece and using a braided cord I made a buckle. The design of the box is based on the design of the main entrance of the former Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.

Category Lacquerware
Year Presented 2012
Period of creation 6 months
Dimensions H 10 x W 30 x D 13 cm
Materials Kiso cypress, hemp cloth, urushi lacquer
Exhibition The 59th 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.