I first started studying about lacquer when I entered Art College. I had been drawing oil painting since Middle School, but hadn't been doing anything special about crafts. The main reason why I chose to study lacquer in College was because I couldn't "understand" it. The fact that humidity is necessary to harden lacquer, that the base coating needs to be layered numerous times, and that it doesn't shine or become beautiful at all by just coating it... By watching the teachers' and other artists' artworks, I thought I could understand more about how such beautiful works can be made from lacquer, and that is why I chose to study it in College.
Compared to when I first chose to study lacquer, I now have more knowledge and technology about the material, but I still don't fully "understand" it. Even if I use the same material in the same atmosphere, it does not harden the exact same way, and I can only try to predict how it will become. There is no correct way in lacquer (of course this goes for everything else, not just lacquer.) Lacquer is often compared to living things, and I think that this vagueness is one of the fascinations of lacquer.
*The importance of production process
What I consider most important when producing artwork with lacquer, is how it is made. For example, I sometimes use materials such as cushions, cloths filled with cotton. When using these materials, I must cut and sew cloths, and coat them many times with base coating, which are processes perhaps easy for anyone to do. This doesn't mean that I have any negative feelings towards these processes, but I feel that combining and collaging numerous traditions, materials, and processes show the beauty of artworks not just by the way they look but by their hidden interesting factors.
*A sense of "being protected"
Oil painting and making lacquer art share the same amount of time producing them, but when making lacquer art, I often sense a feeling of "being protected." For example, materials are being kept for the artists to use, "crafts" are also named the same as the "protected" traditional crafts, and lacquer, which becomes harder and stronger as it is pasted on art, has been "protected" for almost 9,000 years in various processes and materials.
By producing art with lacquer, I feel protected by it. However, I have now started to understand that I cannot be just protected by it, but that I must act to protect it myself.
One of the things I am interested in to protect, is the environment. I originally thought that lacquer has many defects such as the fact that it takes time to produce, it is costly, or doesn't sell much. However, I now realize that it is such a natural side of lacquer. Sometimes handmade artwork seems to be retrogressing towards modern society, but I think it is an ethical genre that has a sense of speed similar to the original ways of producing. That is why I want to continue producing artwork from the position of craft.
From the owner
Akane Endo gives us a message through the work of lacquer. When I first saw her work, I laughed and felt very radiant. Also, looking at the images for this exhibition and her words, "I want to make an exhibition that thinks about what I can protect from now on," somewhere in her chest shook. I always feel that some emotions are drawn from her work.
When you learn about the developmental stage of life in psychology, the first is the stage of desire for survival, the third is the stage of supporting something or someone, and the fourth is the stage of realizing the meaning of your own life. I think that's how it was. When she heard the words, "Think about what you can protect from now on ...", she remembered such a developmental stage. I don't mean to say, "The writer is growing."
There is great joy in trying to protect something, but there are also difficulties and anguish. The emotions may have moved to the young artist's desire to enter there and ask questions through his work.
A piece of lacquer that looks like a cushion. The thoughts and questions of the writer are hidden there. I hope you will feel it.
ArtShop Tsukibae Owner,