Innovation in Form: Lacquerware by Jihei Murase is a showcase of 35 lacquer works by artist Jihei Murase from September 8th to October 12th. The craft of Jihei Murase III is the culmination of generations of expertise and innovative genius. This long-awaited exhibition is the second showing with Ippodo Gallery New York, after a solo exhibition in 2016. Since his last display, Murase has continued to gain recognition in the United States and Europe for his scrupulous attention to beauty and innovation of form. The artist reveres the beauty of functional things, expertly joining beautiful aesthetics with utility in everyday life.
Representative of the country’s prestigious craftsmanship, urushi (“lacquer”) has become synonymous with “Japan.” Artist Jihei Murase stands at the forefront of Japanese lacquer craft; Murase’s artistic practice is informed by an encounter with the sculpture of Brancusi during his college days. His exceptional technique adeptly balances between functional and aesthetic beauty.
Murase’s innovations have expanded the category of lacquerware both technically and aesthetically. Using modern gadgets including the lathe and hand-forged wrought iron tools, the artist realizes impressive shapes, each with a unique expression. Murase’s vision relies on technical mastery using a variety of techniques: machete cutting, hatsuri (“scalloping”), shinogi (“ridging”), and iron oxidation to build layers of rust. His finishes are not only vermillion or black, but also blue, silver, white, and more.
Corrugated Negoro Tea Caddy, 2022
H2 3/8 x W3 in
H5.9 x W7.6 cm
Hatchet-Shaved Silver Water Container, 2022
Negoro Bottlenecked Jug, 2022
Corrugated Negoro Tea Container, 2022
H2 1/4 x W3 1/2 in
H5.7 x W9 cm