“Urushi Lacquer : The Graceful Soul of Wood”

Ippodo Gallery

poster for “Urushi Lacquer : The Graceful Soul of Wood”

This event has ended.

To coincide with New York’s Asia Week, Ippodo Gallery presents ’URUSHI Lacquer – The Graceful Soul of Wood’, an exhibition showcasing works by contemporary artists who utilize urushi in their craft.

It is said that urushi, which is the name given to natural lacquer, derives – in its phonetic similiarity – to Japanese terms that define a sense of heartwarming beauty or enrichment. Urushi is the sap, the lifeblood, of the lacquer tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum) and only about 200 grams (one cupful) can be collected from a mature tree in a year. It is the strongest natural coating known to humankind. It is impervious to water and heat resistant, while allowing the wood it covers to breathe. In ancient times, urushi culture spread throughout Asia; the first known example of its use in Japan dates back 6,000 years, where it was developed to such an extent that it became known as ‘Japan’ in the West. The gleam in the depths of a black-lacquered bowl, the scarlet of the torii gateway to a shrine; urushi has become a quintessential element of Japanese culture. Born of the hot, humid climate and fertile rains, Japanese urushi is of the highest quality, and the outstanding techniques that were developed over the years to produce artistic masterpieces, have been passed down to the present day. Gold or silver lacquer and mother-of-pearl inlays possess a refined allure, the liquid-like surface containing both light and shadow, beguiles the viewer. Negoro lacquer, in which a black base appears through the vermillion coating, possesses an air of wildness combined with a rich intellect, its warmth and elegance improving with use.



from March 14, 2014 to March 30, 2014
Only by appointment

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