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Takeshi IGAWA


(Photography by Yuichi Motoyama)

Born in Hyogo, Japan in 1980, Takeshi Igawa 井川健 lives and works in Saga City and is an Associate Professor at the Saga University in Kyushu. He obtained his M.F.A. and PhD from Kyoto City University of Arts in 2005 and 2009. He received the 35th Kyoto Cultural Award and was awarded Grand Prize at the 3rd Triennale of KOGEI in Kanazawa, Japan.


Igawa uses the most traditional Japanese craft materials. Still, he is one of the most closely watched young artists in contemporary lacquer art due to his daring and expressive sculptures. He was nominated for the 2017 Loewe Foundation CRAFT PRIZE and joined the roadshow to Madrid, New York, and Tokyo.


 “Reflections and the play of light and shadow on the surfaces always change the appearance of a piece. The lines are critical to creating the most beautiful and pleasing forms. The edges are the first decisions that I must make when I start carving the urethane form. Meanwhile, I need to imagine the curve of all the form lines when it is completed. If the lines and the surfaces harmonize perfectly, I feel that I have fully expressed the beauty of the lacquer as a material.”


The Line and Surface series is made with the kanshitsu technique. Each piece is fashioned with many layers of hemp cloth soaked with lacquer; the surface details being subsequently modelled with a mixture of lacquer, sawdust, powdered clay stone, and other materials. The mould is significant, and he spent a great deal of time perfecting the carved shape.

Courtesy of Keiko Art International 

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