Panel Discussion

(日本語) 翻訳:

4 Honorable Mentions(1/2)

TAMAYA (MC)  ─────  Thank you. We’d like to move to the four Honorable Mention winners. First, on Mayu YOSHIDA’s “Konomekaze”, Mr SHIHO will make some comments.

奨励賞 木の芽風

W4.5 × D9 × H5.5
吉田 まゆ
YOSHIDA, Mayu (Japan)

SHIHO  ─────  I’m afraid it’s difficult to imagine the size of this work. The depth is 9cm, small enough to place on your palm. The work is a two-layered box with a lid. The title “Konomekaze” means a balmy breeze blowing in the springtime. I feel a soft humidity and warmth out of this work. I like the colors with many different greens – wet and warm greens and deep green. They are basic colors for this work.

One photo shows the inside of the box when the lid is removed. The image cannot convey the real beauty of the box with maki-e and other decorations. The work itself is so small that each pattern appears to be tiny flowers blooming and butterflies flying. The patterns resemble those of Japanese kimono. Inside the lid and the body of the container, fine motifs and patterns are applied in many different ways. The outside of the box displays refreshing ornamentation such as rankaku (eggshell) and raden (mother-of-pearl). When you open the lid, the atmosphere suddenly changes, giving you two joyful moments in this small work. It leaves you with a deep impression.

Yesterday the Final Assessment was held and the jurors voted for this work. There was a lively discussion and this work was chosen as the Honorable Mention winner. It was valued for the innovation of expression despite its small size, and for the fresh sensitivity demonstrated by the young artist. I was attracted to this work because of the coloring, handling of the materials, and finishing decorating. I’m also strongly attracted to the microcosm-like aspect of her creation. I think she shows a lot of promise and we expect to see much from her in the future.

TAMAYA(MC)  ─────  Thank you. Next Yu LIU’s “The Incense Box Series.” Mr Shinya YAMAMURA, over to you.

奨励賞 香盒系列

The Incense Box Series
W8 × D8 × H7(各)
劉 宇
LIU, Yu (China)

Shinya YAMAMURA  ─────  It just so happened that another work that resembles YOSHIDA’s work was also selected as an Honorable Mention winner. However, the content is quite different. YOSHIDA’s work, as SHIHO mentioned, has its own worldview, in a way, very emotional and very artistic. On the other hand, Yu LIU, who I believe is from China, showcases a variety of techniques in his work.

While looking at this series of incense boxes one by one, I found interesting shapes and a variety of techniques, some of which were not familiar to me. The pink material in the upper right of the photo was probably made from citrus fruits. He used kanshitsu (dry lacquer) over which the material was applied. In fact, the inside of the box consists of various materials and techniques. For example, stretched cloth, shells and maki-e are applied, to demonstrate a range of techniques. The level of perfection has not yet reached its full potential, and the technical ability in some places is not quite as refined as those of Japanese urushi. However, as a whole, this is very interesting, which is why this receives the Honorable Mention.

Small lacquer boxes have existed for a long time in Japan, to be used to house incense or tea. Urushi has played an important role in adding value to the tea or incense in the box. People have spent more time and money on the protective box than on the substance itself. It is interesting that this way of thinking has existed not only in Japan but also in China and other Asian countries. For example, in Myanmar, they have made boxes to store betel nuts for chewing. These boxes are for any luxury items, cultivated in a culture that values luxury goods.

The title of this work is “The Incense Box Series,” so of course its intended use is for storing incense, as is in common in Japan and China. I think that the purpose of the boxes can vary according to the creator’s ideas and thoughts.