Sudden Shower, Thunderstorm

Okada Yoshio 岡田嘉夫 Japanese

Not on view

In Okada Yoshio’s style elements from the golden ages of the history of Japanese lacquer art are blended with contemporary sensibilities. Okada’s dramatic works can be characterized by tradition and modernity as well as novel modes of visual expression. The dry lacquer technique, which was transmitted from China, was used to create Buddhist sculptures in the Nara period (710–794). The hollow dry lacquer method (dakkatsu kanshitsu) was the first to be used in Japan. A rough form was modelled in clay and then layers of hemp cloth soaked with lacquer were applied over the surface, each layer being left to cure before the next layer was added. Finally, the core was removed, resulting in a lightweight hollow statue. Okada Yoshio followed the same technique to create this uniquely shaped box. One of few lacquer artists using the dry lacquer technique, he covered the surface in black lacquer and embellished the box with maki-e which was inspired by Momoyama period (1573–1615) stylized, asymmetrical, zigzag patterns. He applied several lacquer techniques referencing the Momoyama-style, including “picture pear-skin” (e-nashiji) sprinkling. A contemporary feature of the composition is the abrupt discontinuation of the design, just like lightening appears in the darkness of a stormy night.

Sudden Shower, Thunderstorm, Okada Yoshio 岡田嘉夫 (Japanese, born 1977), Dry lacquer (kanshitsu) body with gold, silver, and color togidashimaki-e, hiramaki-e, e-nashiji, and mother-of-pearl inlays on black lacquer ground, Japan

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