Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Collaborative exhibition of lacquerware and photographs "Jet-black color and starry sky"


Arts and crafts


The exhibition of lacquerware and photographs "Jet-black color and starry sky" is being held from March 6th to 22nd at the gallery Fukui Kougeisha in the center of Fukui City. This is a collaborative exhibition of Echizen lacquerware company TRAD, which has an exhibition here at this time every year, and Hideyuki Kato, an astronomical expert and curator of Fukui City Museum of Natural History. First of all, when I saw the photographs taken by Mr. Kato on the wall, I was amazed at how many stars can be seen in Fukui.


Even in the gallery where exhibitions by craft artists of various genres are held, such a collaboration of craft and photograph is a unique attempt. Acutally, according to Mr. Minowa of TRAD, he was confused by the offer at first. That said, when I saw the exhibition, the photographs of the starry sky and the jet-black lacquerware were in harmony with each other very naturally, and I wondered why it has never held this kind of exhibition before.


While I was in the gallery, I saw visitors who came to see the photographs buying lacquerware. It seems to be a good opportunity for different type of customers to encounter lacquerware other than already existing craft fans, and lacquerware seems to have been created a wonderful synergistic effect of further enhancing its appeal with the theme of starry sky. I discovered something new in this exhibition.


Photographs of starry sky and lacquerware with a motif of constellation


Jet black and vermilion lacquerware are lined up below the starry sky photographs taken in Fukui City, Ono City and other places in Fukui Prefecture.


Constellation soup bowl


Lacquerware with lacquer work of constellation. There are soup bowls and cups. Constellations of birth month are also available. It is a wonder that there was no design like this before.


The Milky Way viewed from Lake Manahime


Photograph of starry sky taken at Lake Manahime in Ono City. I was overwhelmed by the number of stars as if I saw on high mountains. A printed photo in a wide format is underlaid lacquerware in the center of the gallery.


Lacquerware reflecting stars


The stars reflected on the surface of plain orthodox lacquerware look fantastic.


Night sky in Starland Sakadani


There was a photograph taken in the Starland Sakadani in Ono City, where I always practice drone.


Cardboard art


Arts and crafts


I found the corner shown in the photo above in Yuko Hirata's exhibition space at Fukui Kougeisha Craft Gallery. The works are that Haru, who is an acquaintance of Hirata, made for his children beside his work for a cardboard company.


Nowadays a lot of artists including its pioneer Katsuhiko Hibino, make art works with cardboard. But I didn't know that there also was a cardboard artist here in Fukui. Though cardboard is a common packing material, its texture has an intriguing attraction.


Even the stencil mark was depicted on the badminton racket. It's amazing that he focused on small details as well.


Speaking of cardboard, two years ago, I went to Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture to see this "Damborgini" made by some staff members of Konno Packing Co., Ltd.


Box works I met at the exhibition "Art Document 2018 Adventure of YOJI KURI"


Arts and crafts

Left) Home with a dachshund    right) Boxes with a leg


Last Sunday, I went to the exhibition "Art Document 2018 Adventure of YOJI KURI" held at the Kanazu Forest of Creation.

Of course art-animations are synonym of KURI, which I love. Also, there were exhibited a lot of comics and tableaux besides animations, and among them, I was particularly attracted to a series of these white box works .

In fact, I have also always liked the box works by Joseph Cornell for a long time. I think that paintings themselves are microcosms and these box works make me feel
more this way.

A work that 90-year-old KURI drew by dripping enamel paint at the venue of opening talk
(It is big as the height of adults.)


Art Document 2018 Adventure of YOJI KURI ( Japanese only )


Scrap art


Arts and crafts


I watched a topic of cute souvenirs given away for free at the badminton venue of Fukui National Sports Festival on TV news yesterday. They are small dolls of the event's official mascot "Hapiryu" made by Katsuyama citizens using waste shuttlecocks which are generated in large numbers in badminton competitions. Those also are scrap arts, aren't they?


Works using things treated as garbage such as discarded mechanical parts or driftwood, have unique textures. And, I'm attracted to the artists' imagination more than anything else.


The photo above shows works of a Japanese paper craft artist Kozue Kato, who lives in Fukui City. They are displayed in the exhibition held at Fukui Kougeisha Craft Gallery until October 15th. Their legs are waste materials of an eyeglasses factory, and the bodies are fallen chestnut burs in a park. Japanese paper is used for the eyeballs and head ornaments.

Okinawan traditional pottery "Yachimun"


Arts and crafts

Yachimun means pottery in Okinawan language.
Yachimun has a 400-year-old history, and it is a craft that represents Okinawa.
That said, it is also very practical.


For yachimun, the soil of Okinawa is usually used. And yachimun is characterized by colored glaze such as indigo, amber and green made from Okinawan plants. Arabesque and fish patterns are the traditional ones for yachimun. And recently, on the basis of tradition but ones made by new sensitivities could often be seen.


Jiro Kinjo (1912-2004), who was a living national treasure, continued to make yachimun which people use in daily life, which was highly evaluated and he was chosen as a first living national treasure in Okinawa. Then, young generations followed him and now they became the leaders of modern yachimun.


Yachimun has simple colors, easygoing designs and warm textures, so you can use in daily life without hesitation. If you arrange Okinawan cuisine on a yachimun plate, you can feel a bit of Okinawan atmosphere. Among yachimun, there are many reasonable ones, so I recommend it as a token of travel. (H.S)


Yachimun which I collected every time I visit Okinawa