Nobuyuki Tanaka, Tactile Memory, Japanese Lacquer; Urushi Exhibition

Nobuyuki Tanaka, Tactile Memory, Japanese Lacquer; Urushi Exhibition

Nobuyuki Tanaka is a contemporary artist who works in the medium of lacquer

By experimenting with the relationship between Japanese lacquer (Urushi) as both surface and form, Mr. Tanaka challenges our expectations of what lacquer should be, and in doing so alters our perceptions of the possibilities of this medium.

He works with a traditional Japanese medium (Urushi) in a completely new conceptual framework.

Although some of his works suggest the forms of vessels or containers, others are freestanding, open forms

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that deny any notions of functionality.

The specific method he uses is called kanshitsu (literally “dry lacquer”) in Japanese; the techniques that he employs have changed very little since they were first attempted in Japan in the 7th-8th century.

He blurs the distinctions between interior and exterior, applying uniformly glistening coats of lacquer to the entire object. (from Introduction in Tactile Memory by Matthew P. McKelway)