Kurimoto Natsuki is an urushi lacquer artist who was born in 1961. He graduated in 1985 from the Kyoto University of Fine Arts. By 1987 that organization had granted him a master’s degree.
He had a solo exhibition of lacquer work three years before that in Kyoto, which was held at the prestigious Suzuki Gallery. Naturally the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts Gallery was proud to show his work a year after that. He even won the Kyoto’s mayor prize as well, which allowed the municipality to purchase a piece of his art.
A particularly prominent exhibition was held in 1993 at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation gallery. After that, the artist began teaching at Kyoto University of Fine Arts. His work has actually been shown in Europe before. Back in the 1980s, it was shown at the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris. In the grand scheme of things, that isn’t too far off from where his work will be on display at the Yakimono Gallery in Paris.
That being said, frequent readers of this particular column know all too well that shining academic credentials tell little about how an artist really is. Fortunately Kurimoto-sensei is amazing. Viewers will be able to figure this out quite easily as a result. Naturally his work is very striking, and this is a trait that’s hard to shake when it comes down to it.
For instance, it’s easy to see that the artist puts a lot of work into his pieces when combining different types of materials together. Some of his work was made as urushi lacquer pieces that were placed on top of wooden and metallic structures, for instance. Other pieces were presented almost as sheets. The most striking, though, are his large almost installation sized pieces of lacquer work.
The word installation isn’t often said when it comes to lacquer, but then again this is an unconventional artist as it is. Basically the artist has created giant installations that are in the shapes of robes and other garments.
If this were not enough to be shocking the coloration and patterns might very well surprise some people. They are quite bright and the colors themselves are in contrast to sharp glossed black lacquer driven all across the surface of the material. In some ways this even gives it a unique sort of African feel that few other artists would have even really endeavored to try. He’s certainly worth checking out to say the least.