Japanese Cultural Grand Prix Excellence Award / Excellent Award

Shinsuke Aoki

By Emotion

Lacquer is a collaboration with nature and time

When you hear "lacquer", many people may think of Japanese tableware such as bowls. Shinsuke Aoki responds to such an image by saying, "Actually, there are various expressions in lacquer." It is a lacquer work that is sometimes thought to be "painted and completed", but that is not the case. After applying it, the expression changes every moment until it dries, and as the finished product is used, the color tone changes over time.

For lacquer work, it is necessary to take time for nature,

The time it takes for the applied lacquer to dry enhances the work.

Told me.

Shinsuke Aoki

Opportunity to go on the path of lacquering

Mr. Aoki was a boy who loved making things from an early age and wanted to make things by moving his hands rather than looking at things. When I was a high school student, I learned that there is a craft department at Tokyo University of the Arts. At that time, Mr. Aoki, who also liked Buddhist statues such as Ashura statues, became interested in lacquer from dry lacquer statues and was fascinated by the existence of statues made of lacquer and linen.

After graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts, he has been active as a lacquering artist. I want to expand the range of my own expression using lacquer, and I continue to create flat and three-dimensional works by pasting linen cloth and paper with lacquer without being bound by the conventional frame.

While visiting various regions of Asia and Japan such as Vietnam, he has been active mainly in the Kanto region, but in recent years he has moved to Hiroshima to study crafts and materials that have existed in the region for a long time. increase.

About this, Mr. Aoki

Crafts are basically made from local resources. I realized the importance of incorporating it into my work, and since I came to Hiroshima, I have become more motivated to work with local materials.

I say.

Then, while proceeding with the investigation, I came across the Otake Japanese paper used for this award-winning work "Filling".

Aoki's atelier


The materials of the work "Filling" are lacquer, linen cloth, abrasive powder, ground powder, whitewash and Otake Japanese paper. In Otake City, located at the western end of Hiroshima Prefecture, handmade Japanese paper has been made from the clear stream of the Kose River and mulberry cultivated in mountainous areas since the early Edo period. Currently, the preservation society is in charge of preserving and inheriting the technique, and although it is small, production is being continued with the cooperation of volunteers and the community.

I feel a new form of tradition in that the traditional manufacturing of the region becomes a base for connecting various people who share their thoughts and forms a community.

Mr. Aoki decided to use it for his work, focusing not only on the material of washi but also on the connections centered on Otake washi in the region. I decided to use uneven Japanese paper that had an uneven thickness during the manufacturing process.

Scoop Otake Japanese paper

It's been two months since I started production. Kozo fibers, which are unique to handmade Japanese paper, are glued and applied with lacquer to create a unique look. The closer the expression "rubbing" with a brush, the more carefully the lacquer is applied.

I don't know what kind of expression it will look like until it dries, and after it dries and rubs it repeatedly, it gradually becomes glossy. It is more like drawing out the expression of the material rather than working toward completion.

Work production scenery

The title of the work completed in this way, "Filling", reflects the activities of the person who draws, fills, and handles the water. He said that he added the form of "tradition and future" to the act of drawing water (resources) by joining hands.

Mr. Aoki says, "When the expression of lacquer comes out as I expected," it feels good to make it. There is no model for it.

It makes me realize that creating lacquer works is not necessarily my own initiative, as it brings out the natural expression of the material. The depth of the bosom of lacquer suits my senses, with the sense of "communication with nature" and the collaborative work that is created with nature over time.

Is called.

Regarding the future, Mr. Aoki said that he would like to create works with his own expressions using resources derived from the region, such as this "Filling", and to liven up the region.

Award-winning work

Title of work: "Filling"

Dimensions: width 28 cm/ Height 27.5 cm / depth 26 cm

Material: lacquer, linen, Otake Japanese paper, abrasive powder, ground powder, whitewash

Technique: Dry lacquer

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