Representative of TWIN Inc.
The Final Assessment was held right amid the COVID-19 Crisis which has admonished human society for its neglect of nature.
From the beginning of the Final Assessment, I felt a heavy burden of responsibility on my shoulder. To produce Urushi ware, we take the sap of an Urushi tree for the lacquer and we take the lives of other trees for making the wooden bases.
The value and beauty of Urushi-ware depends on how it is created as well as how it is utilized.
The warm and deep beauty of Urushi ware is a gift from nature, and it contains the power of living beings. With this heavy sense responsibility, I felt nervous about selecting works and explaining them to the artists and visitors.
While looking around the Final Assessment venue, I was attracted by some works and stopped in front of them. They express the answers needed for our era in many ways, and I enjoyed the dialogue between the work and myself.
Among the works which attracted me, the Grand Prize winner “Four-Tiered Box” has a bold presence.
This work gives us a clear answer to our attitude; “Creation Considering Both Human Beings and the Earth.” We cannot avoid and pass by this issue. The Urushi artist of this work used the wood of an old Urushi tree which no longer produced sap. The artist made the best of the grain of the Urushi wood, and finished the work with the fuki-urushi technique. The outcome is a set of powerful stacked boxes. I felt I was rescued by this young artist’s unshakable faith in his work.
I’d like to mention two more works – a one-meter platter and a 10cm box. The artist of the platter moved to Okinawa because he cares deeply about nature. He doesn’t even want to cut down trees. He collected the fallen leaves of the Roystonea Regia. He backed them with linen cloth and Japanese Washi paper, and finished the work with the negoro technique.
The 10cm octangular box has an image of a dewy forest like a screen painting. I feel as if I’m in the middle of dripping water and moist air. I feel a new breeze toward the future.
I hope I will meet with new encounters, including ones from overseas, for the next exhibition.