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Simon Pilling: East Asian Art & Interiors

TRAY with design of bamboo grove
Artist: ISOI Masami (b.1926)
Crafted c.1975-85.
Coloured lacquer on a woven bamboo base (rantai shikki).
40 x 36 x 3.5 cm.
Signed and sealed by the artist; with original tomobako

This work perfectly captures the image of a hillside of bamboo gently swaying in a breeze. The scene is alive with movement and substance through a subtle, undulating, carved lacquer ground, over which is built the delicate depiction of the trees. The viewer can ‘hear’ the characteristic light rustling of the leaves as they move. Designated a Living National Treasure in 1985 for his ‘incised and colour-filled’ lacquer technique (kinma), Isoi has here combined this with the rantai shikki technique, to create a light and gently rounded form. The colours are classic tea ceremony – green (tea) against black (tea caddy).

all text & images Simon Pilling: East Asian Art & Interiors

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