URUSHI: MASTERPIECES OF LACQUER WARE BY KAZUMI MUROSE, LIVING NATIONAL TREASURE OF JAPAN
October 25-November 16, 2014
Regular Garden Hours
Included with Garden Admission
At a time when the traditional Japanese art of urushi (lacquer) is enjoying a renaissance of interest among collectors and designers around the world, the Portland Japanese Garden is pleased to announce its fall Art in the Garden exhibition, Urushi: Masterpieces of Lacquer Ware by Kazumi Murose, Living National Treasure of Japan (October 25–November 16).
In 2008, the Japanese government recognized Kazumi Murose as a Living National Treasure, the popular term that describes an official designation that goes only to those who hold the highest level of skill in a traditional craft. Murose specializes in the technique of maki-e, sprinkled gold and silver decoration, and in raden, inlaid mother-of-pearl—two traditional techniques for the embellishment of urushi.
Kazumi Murose was born in 1950, the son of an accomplished lacquer artist. His decision to take on the family trade was made at a time when most young men his age in Japan were eager to leave the world of tradition behind to pursue modern careers in technology and business. Nonetheless, in 1970, he entered the Tokyo University of Fine Arts to study urushi with the legendary Matsuda Gonroku (1896-1986).
He is known internationally both as an innovative artist and as a conservator of historical lacquer artifacts. In the early 1990s, he visited the Victoria and Albert Museum where he conducted a survey into the condition of lacquer collections in European museums. Since then he has given courses there in lacquer conservation and has taught staff from the Museum’s Conservation Department at his studio in Tokyo.
His innovative methods in the use of this ancient and sustainable natural material have resulted in remarkable new designs for contemporary purposes, including the limited edition items he creates for Vertu, a Parisian firm specializing in luxury objects.
In conjunction with the exhibition Mr. Murose will present a lecture about Urushi at the Portland Art Museum at 2pm on Sunday, October 26.