We recently interviewed Edo Kiriko artist Toru Horiguchi, discussing his craft, British influence and his experience of collaborative events in the UK. Below is a summary of the interview.
What is Edo Kiriko?
It is a glass cutting technique from Japan that is said to have originated in 1834. In 1881, British specialists were brought in to introduce their technique to Japan, and from that, Japanese artisans developed their own unique style.
Why did you decide to learn this tradition of Edo Kiriko?
I think it is a really great thing to continue with, or be entrusted with continuing a tradition, and I was able to become involved with traditional art forms that I admired. When my father passed away, I wished to continue his work and so became involved with Edo Kiriko.
In September you held an event in the UK. How was the reception from British visitors?
It was as if Edo Kiriko had returned home, and the British people received the event very warmly – like a mother welcoming her child! They deeply valued the design and craft and I’m confident that we will continue to be connected.
Have you been inspired or influenced by the UK in your work in any way?
Yes, the time I spent at the V&A had a great influence on my work. In fact the piece of work I produced after returning home, called “Crossing 11”, shows that influence. Also, it made me re-assess the things I had achieved until that point, and I was able to validate the level of my own work because of my experience of coming to the UK.
What kind of collaboration or events would you like to do in the UK in the future?
I would really like to work with places that have appreciated my work and expressed an interest in working with me. That’s not just retail businesses, but restaurants and bars, boutique shops, galleries – all kinds of places.
The most important thing is shared values. In the last few years I have felt that the UK is a country that feels very familiar to me. Since it’s such an important country for me, I’d like to get to know more people, and have more people see and experience my work. But before that, if people can simply understand the emotions behind my work, I couldn’t be happier than that.
For more details about the Edo Kiriko event in London earlier this year, click here