Exhibition of Lacquer Works by Jihei Murase at Ippodo Gallery


Jihei Murase, mingei, tea ceremony, lacquerware, lacquer, Ippodo Gallery, NYC, Japan, Kitaoji Rosajin
Jihei Murase. Courtesy Ippodo Gallery.

An Exhibition of Lacquer Works by Jihei Murase – Lacquer Forms: Modern Negoro

Thursday, October 13 through Thursday, November 3
Opening Reception with the Artist – Thursday, October 13 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Ippodo Gallery – 12 E. 86th Street (between Madison and 5th Avenues), #507

Admission: Free

Ippodo Gallery’s upcoming exhibition features lacquer works by Jihei Murase III, a third generation lacquerware artist whose family traditions dating back to the Edo period (1603-1868). Seeking inspiration for the original work of his grandfather honoring the tea ceremony, the objects are created in the style of Negoro, named for the 12th century temple that originated the design. The Negoro design is a simple, Zen, modest style, where black reveals itself through vermillion over time, and Murase’s work is well known for its expertise in this longstanding tradition. Beyond reverence for the past, the works speak to the changing tides of art and lifestyle in modern society. Delving into form and meaning, works intermingle value of nature, tradition, and harmony in innovation, ultimately challenging conventional tea ceremony with precision and artistry. Tea caddies, scoops, water jars, vases, vessels, and trays will be on display at Ippodo Gallery, with 30 items in all.

Whether in vermillion red, silver or black, Murase emphasizes the harmony in form. Although all works can be used in traditional tea ceremony, Murase is foremost a sculptor, paying careful attention to his golden rule of shape down to minutia. Murase’s tea wares pays reverence to contemporary Mingei style. Translated as the beauty of functional things, Mingei is known as the art of daily life. Viewable as art objects, they are intertwined with the everyday.

Originally from Nagoya, where the tea ceremony was a daily occurrence, the Murase family practiced the precision and artistry necessary to produce top quality objects. The Murase family perfected their technique over the centuries for top clientele among dilettantes and top restaurateurs, including acclaimed potter and celebrated artist Rosanjin Kitaoji (1883-1959).

At the opening reception, Murase himself will serve guests Japanese tea using his own tea utensils.

Ippodo Gallery is open by appointment only. Call 212.967.4899 or email mail@ippodogallery.com.