Esh gallery is pleased to present the second edition of URUSHI_ISM. Japanese contemporary lacquer. The exhibition celebrates the urushi lacquer, one of the most ancient techniques from the Japanese tradition, enhances in the world of Japanese contemporary artists.

The exhibition presents artworks from a group of masters and young artists in a path that shows the ancient art of Urushi lacquer, technique that conveys elegance and brilliance to the works.

The appreciation for this ancient technique shown through the centuries by the Eastern world, is with any doubt due to the simplicity, elegance and balanced beauty. These characteristics make the lacquered works the expression for the typical Japanese spirituality, and one of the most specific representation of the Japanese aesthetic. It is required a deep interior strength for following the long process of a lacquered artwork: the execution of many layers on the shape that the artist wants to cover, the waiting process during the drying moment, the caring through the polish and the decoration phases.

The nature is for the majority of the artists the real inspirational subject. Nature is declined in multiple shapes and spiritual meanings indeed. This exhibition is a chance to experience the world of the contemporary Urushi lacquer, its aesthetic and the tradition that is revisited through the XXI century’s taste and experiences.

The lightweight sculptures of Yoshihiko MURATA are inspired by the nature: anthropomorphic shapes are twisting in the space as driven by the melody of a musical instrument.

Natsuki KURIMOTO use different materials at the same time. His works - made by Japanese paper and lacquer – are based on a wood or metal basis and often are large in scale. His works remind rocks and mountains shape. Sometimes his works have African suggestions, fact that is almost unconventional for a Japanese artist.

Fumie SASAI is inspired by the metamorphosis concept. Her works are made by simple shapes, reminding flowers, animals and fruit. Her art is characterized by soft lines, that aroused primordial feelings. For the first time Esh Gallery shows her new artworks made with some bamboo elements, in collaboration with the master Tanabe Shouchiku.

Sakurako MATSUSHIMA takes the inspiration from the jewel world and the body ornamentation. His sculptures are characterized by sinuous lines and curvilinear development. His amazing wall- artworks are embellished by shell elements and gold powder, amplifing the brilliance of Urushi lacquer. The artist prefers the Kanshitsu technique, which consists in applying some lacquer on fabric: this is why the sculputers can be modeld on every kind of shape, furnishing the spaces with elegance and lightness.

Another artist of URISHI_ISM II is Hanako GEJO, wife of the award-winning Takeshi IGAWA. Her artworks are attractive for the chromatic choices, mixed with gold powder and leaf, giving more brilliance to urushi lacquer.

The aesthetic research with urushi lacquer is the aim of the young artist Mine TANIGAWA. Ex student of the master Kurimoto, the artist is focused on making little sculptures made with urushi lacquer, inspired by informal research. The vivid chromatic choice and no restriction from formal choices are the reasons why the artworks are similar to sketches, made by automatic and abstract acts.

Hiroshi KANEYASU’s artworks allowed the viewer in catching the inherent qualities of urushi. From many years the artist is interested in the old colors theories. He is focused on researching visual perception, but above all he is engaged in researching the tactile aspect of the colors and materials.