Lacquer Sculptures by Murata Yoshihiko / Keiko Gallery, Boston

Silhouette 12, Lacquer Sculpture exhibition by Murata Yoshihiko, Keiko Gallery, Boston

Silhouette ’12, Lacquer Sculptures by Murata Yoshihiko / Keiko Gallery, Boston, USA
April 7 – May 7, 2012

Artist Reception: April 7, 3 — 6 pm.

From its beginning, Keiko Gallery has been committed to introducing contemporary Japanese lacquer art to the American public. We are pleased to announce the first solo exhibition by a gifted young lacquer artist, MURATA Yoshihiko, whose work relies heavily on the external play of light and shadow. His recent lyrical Silhouette focus on anthropomorphic forms whose lines twist and turn, swell and fade, like the sounds from a musical instrument. Simple, exquisite and profound, they share much in common with the brief poetic form, haiku.

Among the increasing number of well trained and gifted young Japanese lacquer artists, each of whose work is idiosyncratic, Murata Yoshihiko’s work relies distinctively on the external play of light that creates silhouettes which extend his forms and flow indistinguishably from the sculptural pieces themselves into their shadows.

Like his slender anthropomorphic forms, his occasional use of the contrasting brilliance of raden (mother-of-pearl) reflects his early fascination with the elaborate hair ornaments (kanzashi) once worn by oiran,* the high ranking goddesses of Japan’s traditional entertainment world. When he was a student in lacquer at Kanazawa College of Art — a city once famous for its entertainment quarter — he first discovered images of these courtesans whose extravagant attire and richly ornamented hair styles had captured the imaginations of most artists of Ukiyoe, the paintings and wood block prints featuring the demimonde of the Floating World. In studying these images he realized that many of the hair ornaments suggested creature-like aspects. This resulted in his exploration of small sculptures that evoked creatures of the wild.

Murata currently lives in the rural part of Japan’s Toyama Prefecture which is famous for its natural beauty and a wide variety of wild life. His encounters with the animals continually inspires his recent sculpted silhouettes.

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Fine Lines ’12, Jewelry by Yoshiko Yamamoto / Keiko Gallery, Boston, USA

Fine Lines 12 exhibition, Jewelry by Yoshiko Yamamoto at Keiko Gallery, Boston, USA

Fine Lines ’12, Jewelry by Yoshiko Yamamoto / Keiko Gallery, Boston, USA
March 3 – April 4, 2012

Opening Reception: March 3, 3:00pm — 6:00pm

Since no theme was suggested by the gallery for this exhibition, I fully embraced the freedom to choose my own materials and subject matter.

As I have quite a few collections of copper, monofilament and silver wire, I decided to use the `domestic crafts` of knitting and crocheting to approach the work. The copper wire was already colored and the nylon monofilament was hand-dyed. The 34 gauge colored copper wire has a silky quality that I could treat as soft, fine thread. When tightly crocheted, the material became stiff and I was able to transform its character into a wearable piece. Just like copper wire, monofilament is a marvelous material for knitting and crocheting. The difference is that nylon needs a more taming approach because of its unyielding nature.

I also decided to make jewelry using wire. One reason is that I wanted to create the jewelry / object based on lines. I used very thin fine silver wire coiled up, then flattered and fused into various shapes that became stronger as I worked. The end product was quite an exciting discovery. The gold wire jewelry required a degree of precision. These works are based on the traditional processes and craftsmanship yet the end product is much different than conventional gold work.

The four self-portraits are important to me as it expressed my physical dysfunction at that time. Annoyingly, a pinch wouldn’t allow me to go to my studio, so I was looking at myself with both frustration and hope. These figures are spontaneously depictions of my feelings.

Keiko Gallery is one of the most appreciated art galleries in the US that focuses on Japanese art - from ceramics to the innovative lacquer art, textiles, jewelry and painting.
View our special feature on Japanese artists from Keiko Gallery, October 2011.

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SPECIAL FEATURE: Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists

Keiko Gallery - Special feature on Japanese artists - Ceramics Now Magazine

SPECIAL FEATURE: Keiko Gallery - Japanese artists, October 2011

In partnership with Keiko Gallery
Written review of “Keiko Gallery” through interviews with represented Japanese artists who work in ceramics, lacquer, textiles and jewelry.

Keiko Gallery is one of the most appreciated art galleries in the United States that focuses on Japanese art, from ceramics to the innovative lacquer art, textiles, jewelry and painting. Founded in 2003 in Boston, MA, the gallery organized numerous exhibitions of world-recognized Japanese artists.

The special feature includes interviews with 10 artists represented by Keiko Gallery, and lots of images with their works. We took this opportunity because we want to introduce the Japanese contemporary art and craft to a larger audience around the world. It is an excellent chance for our readers to learn more from Japanese artists, to see how they think and how they imagine their works.

KEIKO GALLERY - JAPANESE ARTISTS
View images / Read all the interviews:
Niisato Akio, Ceramics - View his works
Kawabata Kentaro, Ceramics - View his works
Takeuchi Kouzo, Ceramics - View his works
Hayashi Shigeki, Ceramics - View his works
Tanoue Shinya, Ceramics - View his works
Fujita Toshiaki, Lacquer art - View his works
Murata Yoshihiko, Lacquer art - View his works
Jorie Johnson, Textiles - View her works
Takeda Asayo, Textiles - View her works
Mariko Husain, Jewelry - View her works

The feature was presented on Ceramics Now in October 2011, and was published in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue One. Keiko Gallery has now closed its physical space in Boston and it is relocating all the activity online. The new email address is keikogallery@gmail.com

Above: Kentaro Kawabata, SOOS: Cao-Col, 2012, Porcelain, Silver, 25 x 18 x 40 cm.