- Museum number
Circular lacquer tray in hoop-built (magewa-zukuri) technique. Made of black and dark red translucent lacquer (tamenuri) on cypress wood core. Signed on base. With paulownia storage box signed and dated by the artist.
- Production date
Diameter: 50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Onishi Isao is one of the most inspiring contemporary lacquer artists working in Japan today. He creates works using his hoop-built technique (magewa tsukuri 曲輪造) and his lacquer coating technique (kyûshitsu) for which crafts skills he has been designated as a Holder of Important Intangible Cultural Property (popularly, 'Living National Treasure') by the Japanese government since 2002. Onishi has won a number of prizes and has been exhibited widely in Japan, and his work is represented in major collections such as the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and Ibaraki Prefectural Museum and the Pola Museum. His work was shown in the Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan exhibition at the British Museum in 2007 and he gave a public demonstration during the exhibition that was very well received. No museum outside of Japan has yet acquired one of his works. Each piece takes a minimum of six months to create and often up to ten months. Onishi does not place his works with dealers or galleries. Rather he prefers to sell his works himself to places and people who he feels understand his work. This round tray in hoop-built (magewa) technique (2005) 曲輪造黒朱溜盛器 was the largest and most ambitious of his works so far, at 50cm in diameter. The tray was created with over 40 aged hoops carefully fitted and then lacquered with multiple layers to give only faint trace of the hoop construction from the surface.
Onishi uses only locally sourced wood (hinoki or cypress) and he prepares all the materials himself. He even creates his own tools and sharpens his own blades. He takes great pride in controlling all aspects of the creation of his works ensuring that the final product is to his high standards.
- On display (G94/dc15)
- Exhibition history
2005, Tokyo, 52nd Exhibition of Japanese Traditional Art Craft
2014 Apr -2015 Oct, BM Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries 'Japan from prehistory to the present'
2016 Oct –, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
- Acquisition date
- Registration number