In collaboration with the Japanese crafts centre Echizen, Nihon no hanga proudly presents a special display of contemporary lacquerware, Echizen: A New Era of Lacquerware Design, from Wednesday 18 until Sunday 22 March, 12.00 – 17.00 hrs.
Japanese lacquer (urushi) is one of Japan’s oldest crafts. Excavations have revealed lacquered items that are more than 9000 years old. Despite this incredibly long history, little has changed in the way natural lacquerware is produced. Urushi is still 100% handmade, using a natural resin that is tapped from lacquer trees from sustainable plantations. In the battle against plastics, this ancient tradition may actually mark the beginning of a new future for lacquer in the modern world.
Lacquer holds strong ties with Japan’s traditional cuisine (washoku). Its naturally disinfectant surface makes it the ideal material for the production of traditional tableware. However, Japan’s culinary tradition has seen some radical changes over the past decades, making it difficult to fit lacquerware into the daily lives of modern Japanese families. Traditional production centres like Echizen and Wajima are struggling to maintain a balance between preservation and progress.
Through collaboration with a team of international designers from the Tokyo University of the Arts, Echizen has developed a new series lacquer ware products which are more suitable to a contemporary, urban lifestyle. All items are still 100% handmade, using only natural materials. This event marks Echizen’s first step onto the international stage. Echizen has chosen Amsterdam to promote their new Metropolitan and Modern Classics series of contemporary lacquerware design.
Last chance for Great Tokyo
Due to the great success of our November exhibition, we have decided to give everyone a last chance to visit Great Tokyo: One Hundred Views by Koizumi Kishio during the Echizen lacquerware display. The exhibition will be open to visitors on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 March, 12.00 – 17.00 hrs.