Japanese artist Yamamura Shinya (b. 1960) is a contemporary lacquer artist using traditional materials and techniques to produce small works of art that are the perfect way to accessorize a well appointed home. Mind you, they are not cheap, but nothing worthwhile really is in this day and age.
Yamamura concentrates his sophisticated artistry in small objects that fit in the palm of the hand because he wants the observer to have a more personal experience with his pieces – one of awe and inspiration. And rightly so. His craft is over 1300 years old and it takes technical brilliance to achieve what he does … one little vessel at a time.
I recently fell for his art. I cannot tell you how stunningly beautiful and amazing these small containers really are are in person. According to Shoko Aono, Director of the New York branch of Tokyo Gallery Ippodo, Yamamura first plans the shape, which he does by making a maquette, and then carves his sculpture from Japanese cypress. The body is then covered by endless coats of urushi lacquer before and after the decoration which may include other colored lacquers, metals, handmade paper, seashells, ivory, eggshells, deer hair and other materials.
Then you would think the object is left to dry at room temperature, right? Well, not really. This particular lacquer needs to dry at temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius and a humidity of 65%-80% !!! The unworldly art may seem delicate because of its size, but the lacquer makes it a bulldog of strength and durability.
For those on the lookout for small objet d’art oozing sophistication, these are not to be overlooked. Yamamura Shinya’s lacquer ware pieces are truly exquisite … and exceptional!
richard rabel: interiors + art
interior design and art advising
new york city
image credits: Yamamura Shinya courtesy of Ippodo Gallery, Tokyo and New York who represent the artist.