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Vermilion Lacquer Ridged Tray with Legs

Accession Number
2016/1.211

Title
Vermilion Lacquer Ridged Tray with Legs

Artist(s)
Matsuzaki Tohru

Object Creation Date
2014

Medium & Support
lacquer on wood

Dimensions
3 in x 8 ½ in x 9 in (7.62 cm x 21.59 cm x 22.86 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Director's Acquisition Committee, 2016

Label copy
Tamura Isshu ̄
Japan, born 1957
Tea container named Bamboo Grove
(Takebayashi)
Heisei period (1989–present)
Late 20th century
Wood with black lacquer, gold, and silver
Museum purchase made possible by the Director’s
Acquisition Committee, 2016, 2016/1.261A&B

Matsuzaki Tohru
Japan, born 1944
Vermillion Lacquer Ridged Tray with Legs
Heisei period (1989–present)
2014
Wood with black and red lacquer
Museum purchase made possible by the Director’s
Acquisition Committee, 2016, 2016/1.211

These two works present very different aesthetic
lineages in Japan: refinement and artless
simplicity. The container by Tamura Isshu ̄ is for
storing tea powder. On the lid, stylized gold leaves
suggest the thick foliage of a bamboo grove; the
silver stripes on the base of the container represent
bamboo trunks. For both, the artist uses the
Heian period (794–1185) technique of decorating
lacquerware with small gold or silver particles
(maki-e). The artist lives and works in Kanazawa,
a town known for this tradition of lacquerware.
In contrast, the tray by Matsuzaki Tohru has
a roughness that suggests the original function
of lacquering—making waterproof, heat-resistant
wares for everyday use. Like the lacquerware used
in Buddhist temples and monasteries since the
twelfth century, its beauty lies in the gradual
exposure of the base black lacquer under the red
lacquer coating over many years of use. Matsuzaki
creates wares by hollowing out a wood log and
layering the surface with black and red lacquer.

Primary Object Classification
Decorative Arts

Primary Object Type
tray

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
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& Author Notes

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