There is stunning lacquer work from maki-e craftsman MATSUDA Shokan. Maki-e (sprinkled pictures) is the technique of making decorating lacquer sprinkled with gold (or silver) powder and the most highly refined of Japanese lacquering techniques. The powder is applied to lacquered designs while the lacquer is still damp. Different sized particles and several techniques are used allowing for a variety of different decorative textures. His writing case, suzuri-bako (inkstone box) shows all of the various maki-e decoration techniques.
There are Edo-period (1603 - 1868) examples of the art of KINTSUGI. This is the Japanese technique of repairing broken ceramics with a lacquer and rice glue resin dusted with (most commonly) gold powder. The repair of the broken vessel is embraced as a visible part of its history rather than something to be disguised. The process has become closely associated with wares used for the tea ceremony. The Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi evident in the tea ceremony acknowledges the beauty in flaws and imperfection, in asymmetry, in modesty, simplicity and thrift and the acceptance of the transient nature of things.
Yobitsugi is where similarly shaped but non-matching fragments are used to replace missing pieces from the original vessel creating a patchwork effect. Glass artist, NISHINAKA Yukito brings this idea using gold into his latest works with extreme sensitivity.
This exhibition has been made possible with the generous support of Sir Hugh and Lady Cortazzi, Eshima Kaori, Horiuchi Hiroko, Hosono Hitomi, Katie Jones, Kinzangama, Kutanijuku, Matsuda Shokan, Nishinaka Yukito, Adrian Sassoon, Timothy Toomey, the British Museum, the Nezu Museum (Tokyo), and the Victoria and Albert Museum.