Unryûan Kitamura Tatsuo
One of Japan’s leading contemporary lacquer artists, Unryūan works in the tradition of the Koami family who served the Tokugawa shogunate in the Edo period (1615–1868). His work combines traditional lacquer techniques with a contemporary aesthetic.
Lotus leaf was inspired by the monumental bronze lotus leaves that accompany the 8th-century sculpture of the Great Buddha in Nara, Japan. The crystal drops on Unryūan’s leaf evoke dew, while the tiny gold flakes scattered around its base suggest the reflection of sunlight. The artist has masterfully employed the dry lacquer technique ('kanshitsu') to create the leafbefore applying white, yellow and green lacquer in the 'kawarinuri' technique on the dry lacquer body.
Place where the work was made
'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
Where the work was made
Shown in 4 exhibitions
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
Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019
In one drop of water, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Jun 2019–Dec 2020
Referenced in 1 publication
Art Gallery of New South Wales annual report 2008–09, Sydney, 2009, 25 (colour illus.).