Thoughts from Daisuke Nakano

Nature always inspires me as a
blank canvas

Nature is beautiful because it changes.
Spring may come again but the same spring will never return– likewise, I slowly change as well.

Nature always produces beauty.
It is only a matter of how open I am to receive its beauty.
I trust my intuition so that it can inspire me at any time.

I often take walks.
I see things I would otherwise miss just by creating themes for my walks like: “let’s find a red thing today.”

Following the Nihonga (Japanese Painting) process, blank space is filled with gold and silver leaves, rejecting perspective. I find beauty in such flatness.
I then make a precise sketch to the exact size of the canvas.

At first, I trace the sketch onto jute paper at least 3 times, refining with fine point blush with sumi ink.
Only the necessary lines remain after exploring shape of every tracing.

Lines are the bones of Nihonga.

It takes courage for artists to refine their outline with thick, black sumi ink because it finalizes the composition.

Even though I paint animals, even though I paint flowers,
I never forget human beings.

Realism speaks the truth.

It is pleasing to paint when the pigment becomes something else.

I paint with nerve rather than feelings.
I paint with thought rather than emotion.



“Burst of Nature”- An Essay by Shoko Aono, Director of Ippodo Gallery NY

A nandina plant with red berries struggles under the weight of the falling snow while a marten holds its breath, its eyes gazing in our direction. The sweet perfume of a magnolia in full bloom almost wafts from the image as the carp stream against each other in crowded pools.

Nihonga-style painter Daisuke Nakano uses an animated method of expression which makes it appear as if living creatures are on verge of bursting out of the picture. He says, ‘I want to paint pictures that look as if they would bleed if you cut them,’ imbuing each line with life, each color with blood. He takes exhaustive care over every line, capturing movement inside a stationary two-dimensional work. Accurate down to the finest detail, they dominate regardless of size.

In this, the Nihonga works share something in common with the heterogeneity that allowed anime painting to shake the Japanese art world. The exquisite way in which the scenes are expressed provide the viewer with a wonderful sense of enjoyment, touching the heart profoundly, prompting a longing for nature and hinting at how we should think of life.

Nakano was born in the ancient capital of Kyoto and studied design in school. He soon grew fascinated by natural pigments and glue made from deer, so from the age of eighteen, he devoted himself to the Nihonga painting style.

He learned quickly from the flat world of the Nihonga, drawing particular inspiration from the method of using gold or silver leaf as a base that was developed by Itō Jakuchū or the Rinpa School. It wasn’t long before he created his own, derivative painting method, filling the entire surface of the picture with detail.

Depicting the overwhelming power of nature and the climax of life, he expresses the changes of natural world, its evanescence and sorrow. Flowers in full bloom will eventually fall and physical bodies return to the earth. This intoxication of paradox and life is to be found in the work of the ‘contemporary painter’, Daisuke Nakano.

We are delighted to announce that just as spring comes to New York, Daisuke Nakano will be holding his first ever exhibition outside Japan at the Ippodo Gallery, New York.

“Snowy World,” 2016, 71 x 71 in., Natural mineral pigments, aluminum leaf, Japanese ink, jute paper

“Magnolia, ‘Luminous Wind’,” 2018, 71 x 71 in., Natural mineral pigments, aluminum leaf, Japanese ink, jute paper

“Carp, ‘Entreat’ (Ten Aspect series),” H64 x W38 1/4 in., Natural mineral pigments, aluminum leaf, Japanese ink, jute paper


‘Even though I paint animals, even though I paint flowers, I never forget human beings.’

– Daisuke Nakano

Winter Ceramic Collection, just arrived from Japan!

We hope your year has started happily and with abundant health.
Although we are snuggling inside of our respective homes and waiting for warmer times, we would like to invite you to brave the cold to view our new collection of ceramic works, which have all just arrived from Japan.

For those who are living in the sunny South, we hope these pieces inspire classic wintery scenes in your imagination.
For those who are enduring this frigid weather, we believe these pieces offer a sense of warmth, as ceramics are the fusion of clay, water and fire!

We look forward to seeing you in New York.

For more information, please visit our exhibition page

Happy New Year 2019 !!


Happy New Year!

Thank you for your loyal patronage and friendship throughout the year 2018.

We at Ippodo Gallery firmly believe in the magic and art produced by humankind.

We remain committed to introducing the finest selected artists living in Japan today.

We are happy to share, support and celebrate living artists together with you.

Wishing 2019 to be a year of happiness and beauty for you !


Coming Soon!

Solo Exhibition :
Our Flowering World : Nihonga paintings by Daisuke Nakano
March 7 ~ April 6, 2019


Thursday, March 14, 6 – 9 pm, Opening reception with the artist


The image is the part of Daisuke Nagano’s screen work, “Snowy World.”

Congratulations on publishing the exhibition book, “The Domestic Plane!”

Congratulations on publishing the exhibition book “The Domestic Plane.” Shinya Yamamura’s lacquer piece is on view until January 13 at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and featured in this book!
We are thrilled to find our lacquer artist Shinya Yamamura’s piece in this amazing exhibition book of “The Domestic Plane” at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum!
Thank you Elizabeth Essner for this remarkable curation of ‘ New Perspectives on Tabletop Art Objects.’ We really enjoyed sharing your concept and vision with you!
Shinya Yamamura’s mountain shaped incense containers express whimsical beauty of summer and autumn mountains.
June Mountain  is on view at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum until January 13 and  November Mountain is currently on view at Ippodo Gallery NY.

For more information on this book, click the link below.

The Domestic Plane: New Perspectives on Tabletop Art Objects

Thank you Architectural Digest Germany for the collaboration with Shota Suzuki’s metal piece

Thank you Architectural Digest Germany and the editor Nina Luisa Vesic for your fabulous collaboration with our artist Shota Suzuki’s metal piece!
Suzuki’s realistic yet delicate leaves and acorn piece is harmonized with the splendid fabric by Dedar, Steven Haulenbeek’s piece, as well as Chanel’s !

Source from

Ippodo Gallery Retrospective Show December 11, 2018 – January 25, 2019

Tue. – Sat. : 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The colored leaves are falling, the air is getting colder and colder – winter is now approaching in New York.
Hope you are enjoying this transition into the holiday season, wherever you may be.

2018 has almost come to an end.
To honor the support we’ve received from everyone this past year, we would like to host a special 2018 retrospective show.
All the highlighted artists from our gallery will be reintroduced to you.

-Shiro Tsujimura
-Kai Tsujimura
-Yui Tsujimura
-Misaki Mitsukuni
-Yukiya Izumita
-Midori Tsukada
-Yasushi Fujihira
-Noriyuki Furutani
-Keiji Ito
-Kyotesu Miwa XⅢ
-Kohei Nakamura
-Akio Nisato
-Nobuo Nishida
-Chozaemon(Toshio) Ohi XI
-Tetsu Suzuki
-Ruri Takeuchi
-Sōyō and Shōdō Yamagishi
-Shota Suzuki

For all of you who were unable to make it to a past exhibition, or for those in search of something for yourself or a perfect gift for a loved one, please feel free to come and see us at the gallery.

For more information and to view an online catalogue, please visit our Exhibition page, or see Item list.


Thank you Colla:J for featuring us in your web magazine!

Click here for the Colla:J Web Magazine Tsuki wo koso……

Colla:J Web magazine

MOON: Tsuki wo koso…
Kondaya Genbey x Laura de Santillana
Special collaborative exhibition to celebrate Kondaya’s 280th anniversary
Ippodo New York’s 10th year anniversary
Special Exhibition

One moon lit night that illuminates the dark night.
A moonlit night, brightly illuminating the dark.
The renowned Kyoto obi sash house, Kondaya Genbey, has partnered with Ippodo to celebrate its own 280th anniversary and Ippodo New York’s 10th anniversary.
To celebrate the occasion, an innovative exhibition was held, showcasing obi sash craftsmanship and Venetian glass.

Kondaya Genbey is a long-established manufacturer and purveyor of obi with a history stretching back over 280 years. During the first year of the Meiji era, “Kondaya” was awarded the “Yokozuna” title by Nishijin Obi Daigen dealer.

In 1980, He succeeded by the current Yamaguchi Genbey X when he was 27 years old. Since then, He had worked with fashion designer Hiroko Koshino, architect Kengo Kuma , painter Toko Matsui. He had been exploring possibilities for the world of Japanese textile and hosting many exhibitions. He sticks to the material making and achieve formidable kills to the one of a kind obi making. His works became well known widely abroad and 7 of his works is now in the London Victorian & Albert museum.

In 1980, and at the young age of 27, Yamaguchi Genbey X took succession of Kondaya Genbey. He has since taken the longstanding techniques handed down from generation to generation in the old capital of Kyoto, and has applied them in many different avenues. He has worked with fashion designer, Hiroko Koshino, architect, Kengo Kuma, painter, Toko Matsui. He is constantly exploring possibilities for the world of Japanese textiles, and has dedicated his efforts to holding many exhibitions. From the meticulous crafting of materials to the masterful skills applied by artisans, all of this goes into the one-of-a-kind artistry of the obi. This pioneering spirit of creativity is widely recognized abroad. Seven of his works are now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

On the other had Laura de Santillana is base in Venice. In 1921, her grandfather casted a stone in the glass art industry founded Venini and she was grew up watching him. When she was 18, She moved to New York and worked in the architect and graphic art industry. Before she knows it she started working with the sight of her family’s business which is glass and lights. when she went back to the island when she was 30 years old, she started her work as an glass artist.

The other half of this exhibition features the works of Laura de Santillana, who is based in Venice. In 1921, her grandfather founded Venini, which completely upended classical Venetian glass art at that point. De Santillana grew up watching her grandfather. At the age of 18, she moved to New York and worked in architecture and the graphic arts industry. Before she knew it, she became more involved in her family’s business, engaging with the glass objects or glass light forms that are signatures of the Venini brand. When she was 30 years old, she returned to the island (Venice) and began her career as a glass artist.

Her art is simple yet sophisticated, strong and alive. She is known for her flat glass object and it now in The Metropolitan Museum of art in NYC, Decorative Art museum in Paris etc in world renown museums.

Her art is simple yet sophisticated, strong and alive. She is known for her flat glass objects and her works are now counted in the collections of major world museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, among others.

In regards to her process, it is not only critical to have knowledge on glass, but to also be able to think through the next steps with extreme concentration and decision making while creating.
Four years ago, Genbey and Laura met at Laura de Santillana’s exhibition held at Ginza Ippodo Gallery. Both were brought up in the large cultural hubs that are Kyoto and Venice, respectively. Both are from well-known artisan families. And while their ages and circumstances differed, they were drawn to each other – they’ve felt a shared compassion and respect for one another ever since.

This highly challenging process is inspired but the intangible yet vital element, the breath with the ultimate them of this special collaboration exhibition a poem by Konreimonin from the Heian Period(794-1185):

Many a time have I gazed at the moon,
But never so poignant did it seem, As amid tonight’s star-strewn skies.

Filled with romance and fantasy, this exhibition allows the audience to return to the origins of viewing.

This traveling exhibition will make its way to New York and it will surely capture the hearts of art lovers in the US and all over the world.

1st page

The obi, flying carp and the untitled filled with gold flakes is displayed at a white night with the plum trees blooming.

On a still night, in front of a folding screen depicting the image of a mature plum tree, is the double-woven obi, “Flying Carp”, next to a glass piece, “Untitled”, with suspended flakes of silver leaf. The pieces sit next to each other in a calm harmony, receiving the soft light of the inner garden.

2nd page

The rectangle glass objects changes their faced with the light like the surface of the water.

The rectangular glass pieces that line the main room seemingly change their appearance depending on the given moment; the flakes of silver and gold foil that are suspended in each monotone glass body, shimmers and reflects light like the surface of water moving in the breeze.

The exhibition venue was the eye-catching site of “Kondaya”.

Laura and Genbey enjoying a conversation.

To an artisan, the workshop is a sacred space. While paying mutual respect to one another’s craft while in this sacred space, Genbey and Laura enjoy a conversation together.

3rd page
The main installation of this exhibition.
The main visual used for this exhibition: A magnificent obi with embroidered wisteria and pine motifs, paired with the gold flakes baked into the amber-colored glass – a fantastical resonance that is something to behold.

The permanent collection of Kondaya.
The two obi pieces on the left are made of mother of pearl that has been affixed to washi paper. In order to prevent breaking, a thread of 0.3 mm in thickness is woven through horizontally. An obi of this same type is in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.


This object is inspired by Princess Kaguya.
Bamboo is symbolic of purity and is also considered a good omen. This glass piece, with its rich bamboo coloring, is inspired by the tale of Princess Kaguya and her ascension to the moon.

This one-of-a-kind obi, woven with peacock feathers, is impossible to recreate now, as the original artisans involved have advanced in age.