Monday, October 22, 2007

Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan

This small exhibition at the British Museum covers a wide range of crafts including lacquer, ceramics and glass. Many of the contributors have been designated 'Living National Treasures' for their artistry and skill.
Although the textiles in this exhibition are beautiful it is the basketry and metals that truly moved me.
Woven bamboo basket, 'Shallow Stream' (1997) by KATSUSHIRO, Soho captures the rippling motion of a mountain stream as it rushes over its pebble strewn bed. The play of light on the polished bamboo perfectly mirroring the light on moving water.

'Hazy moon silver' (Rogin) is a term that I had not come across before, it is an alloy of three parts copper and one part silver which produces a wonderful softly coloured metal. Amongst an array of beautiful pieces I particularly liked the hammered silver vase, 'Sea Breeze' (1987) by OSUMI Yukie. Again it was the stunning representation of light on water that spoke to me. The lines of waves march across the vessel in direct opposition to the wind, so evocative of the way I see the tides moving into St Ives Bay in Cornwall.

No comments: