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UNRYÛAN Kitamura Tatsuo

(Japan 1952 – )

Lotus leaf
Place of origin
Media category
Materials used
'kanshitsu' (dry lacquer), gold, green and yellow lacquer and gold on wood, quartz crystal drops

18.0 x 62.7 cm

Gift of Lesley Kehoe Galleries 2009
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

Working in the tradition of the Koami family, who served the Tokugawa Shogunate in the Edo period, Unryūan’s works preserve on the one hand sophisticated traditional lacquer techniques but are on the other hand imbued with a contemporary sense of aesthetics. He is considered as one of Japan’s leading contemporary lacquer artists.

Inspired by the gilt bronze lotus leaves adorning the sculpture of the Great Buddha in Nara, Unryūan applied masterfully the dry lacquer technique ('kanshitsu') to create this impressive lotus leaf whose plasticity is rendered in an extremely realistic manner. White, yellow and green lacquer are applied in the 'kawarinuri' technique on the dry lacquer body, while tiny gold flakes are scattered around the bottom of the leaf to suggest the reflection of sunlight on dew drops. Two quartz crystal drops that can be placed at will on the leaf evocating water drops heighten the realistic effect.

Asian Art Department, AGSNW, June 2009.

Bibliography (1)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2008-09, Sydney, 2009, 25 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (2)

Aroma (Special event of the Japan-Australia Exchange Year 2006), Hamilton Art Gallery, Hamilton, 2006 -

One hundred flowers (2011), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Sep 2011–15 Jan 2012