Comments on the Jurors’ Special Prize Winners（3/4）
YAMADA ───── The images do not help us to easily understand or imagine this work. I would like you to have a look at the real work ‘Seien’ by Isamu KOMATSU, which is an octagonal box of 9.6cm diameter. Like with folding screen paintings, Urushi is applied to each facet. This artist is from Aomori, just like the previously-mentioned Gold Prize recipient Mr. SHIRAKAWA. By using tin powder and mother-of pearl inlay, on each facet he succeeded in creating the serene atmosphere of the deep beech forests of Aomori. The forms make us imagine nature with spirits and deities. It has been a long time since I came across such a jewel-like box that I would treasure with great care.
This memorable box is suitable for this year. We have treated the forest spirits badly and the COVID-19 crisis is taking its revenge. This octagonal box symbolizes the lesson for us to learn from and to live with nature. Once again, I realized that Urushi painting is beautiful. The green alone consists of many different colors. I hear that the artist is a director, too. His concept is as follows; deep in the mountain he collects Urushi sap, the life of the forest, and in this way he is able to create his works. I think this work shows one of the possibilities of Urushi decoration for the future. Beautiful Urushi decoration techniques have been handed down since ancient times, and I hope that such techniques can be improved upon and further developed.
The work is small but I didn’t tire of looking at it. In the past, this work would have been kept at a museum. To tell you the truth, the works and items kept in museums were once used in the past because people needed them for their everyday life. For me as well, I’m so captivated by this box that I want to purchase and treasure it. You will feel as if you were entering a great forest by gazing at it.
OHNISHI ───── Thank you. Shall we move to the next work? Prof. TANAKA, please comment on your Special Prize.
TANAKA ───── I selected ‘Still’ by Mariko SHIRAHAMA as my Special Prize winner. All the seven Jurors’ Special Prize winners are highly admired. Because only a limited number of works can receive the highest prizes, these seven works received the Jurors’ Special Prizes. To tell you the truth, the recipient of my Special Prize is still a student at Kanazawa College of Art, where I work. Although I wanted to avoid giving a prize to a student from my college, this work received votes from jurors other than myself and it was in competition for the highest prizes from the beginning.
According to the artist’s concept, she has observed the movement, forms and undulation in the natural world for a long time, and she created this work with her Kanshitsu and Datsu Kanshitsu techniques. The back of the work is created with a powerful shape like a tree and she finished her work with the Nuritate technique. The work was praised by the Panel members for its power to attract, and I hope she will continue to improve her technical and sculptural skills.
OHNISHI ───── Next, Prof. YAMAMURA, please comment on your Special Prize winner.