Lacquer sculpture “Kirara” by Shimode Yasuhiro

Japan, dated Heisei 6 (1994)

Length: 31 . inches, 80 cm
Height: 113/4 inches, 30 cm

A large lacquer sculpture, shaped with sharply pointed sides and two concave ends. The sides of the sculpture are decorated all over with a wave pattern on a gold ground. The decoration is repeated on the concave ends, but here applied to a silver ground. The base is lacquered in black, with the two-character signature of the maker, Shimode Yasuhiro in gold.   Contained within the original tomobako, with two inscriptions: one the signature of the artist, the other stating the title of this work: kirara.

The lacquer artist Shimode Yasuhiro was born in 1957 and is based in Kyoto. Shimode’s family has been engaged in lacquer craftsmanship for many years and was influenced by the lacquer work tradition of the famed artist Rokkaku Shisui (1867-1950). In 1994 (Heisei 6), the artist was given the Asahi Newspaper Award for this work, which is entitled “kirara” (translates as “Shining Brilliance”, “Glimmering Brilliance”, or “Gleaming Brilliance”). This award was part of a Kyoto-based competition at the 46th Kyoto Exhibition (Kyoten). The work was subsequently exhibited at the Kyoto City Museum. The artist was 37 years old when he made it. He exhibits regularly at the Nihon Sencha kogei ten [Japan Sencha tea ceremony art crafts exhibitions] and was given many awards. He is a member of the Kyoto Art Crafts Artists Association [Kyoto kogei bijutsu sakka kyokai].