On Saturday, May 23, 2015 Sasai Fumie completed her extension of the lacquer exhibition that was held at the Mizen Fine Art gallery.

Sasai Fumie is a contemporary artist who works in the laquer medium. She’s also a Professor of the field of Art at the University of the Arts in Kyoto.

While urushi lacquer work is relatively unknown in France, this is a fundamentally important technique in Japan. It’s been in use since the Jomon period, and it’s common for making many types of goods.

Throughout the 20th century there was a major contemporary push to take a look at how color and form was used when working with this medium. The work of Sasai Fumie is a sort of tribute to the field of lacquer.

Exhibition Photos from Sasai Fumie at Mizen

The artist was actually on hand, and thus the exhibition was eye opening for many art appreciators.

Her works embodies both the use of lacquer as a material as well as a technique. Each of her three-dimensional works is entirely unique. The smooth and somewhat feminine appearance of these figures heavily feature a crimson satin hue, which is certainly well-known in certain Japanese contemporary art circles.

Kanshitsu is a technique that uses dry lacquer to give the artist greater freedom when she makes her forms. This freedom is relatively unusual in the field, since most artists prefer to work with more traditional boundaries.

Those who take a closer look at Sasai-sensei’s work will surely have many of their normal artistic boundaries shattered. Her striking monochromatic color scheme isn’t the only thing that people have a tendency to pay attention to.

Poster for the Exhibition

The exhibition was so important that the gallery actually prominently featured the artist’s urushi work on banners and posters.

The way that her figures twist is somewhat reminiscent of other types of design. Industrial design throughout the 20th century was increasingly modern, and Sasai-sensei doesn’t shy away from taking inspiration from even the most unusual of sources.

Nevertheless, she pays close attention to a number of the traditional aspects of urushi art as well. Her pieces still have the characteristic slick surface that Japanese lacquerware would have had in nearly any period. These defining characteristics are what make urushi pieces so incredibly special.

As a result, some commentators have viewed her work as a sort of gateway that connects contemporary art with the classical world. It might be a chance for fans of traditional forms to experience something modern, but it could also be a rare opportunity for individuals who exclusively enjoy modern art to view an artist that might end up piquing their interest in something that resembles traditional design.