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Black lacquer round box
Tohru Matsuzaki
Item Number:C12801

" Tohru MATSUZAKI will celebrate his 70th birthday on October 10. For some time now, Ippodo Gallery has hoped to hold a special exhibition in honor of this fact and we are delighted to announce that this has been made possible. Tohru MATSUZAKI first started working with wood 50 years ago and it is 30 years since I first came into contact with his woodcraft, becoming an avid fan. His large hands have given birth to countless works in wood, all of which display a gentle warmth. The interior designer, Shigeru UCHIDA is another fan of his work and it was he who first dubbed the red lacquer Tohru MATSUZAKI uses in his work,"Jomon Red." This is what we have decided to use as the theme for the exhibition.

The Jomon period in Japanese history began 16,000 years ago and lasted for approximately 13,000 years, which is to say, 130 centuries. Earthenware vessels bearing witness to the gentle, peaceful people who lived at that time have been excavated throughout the country.
This summer Tohru MATSUZAKI applied urushi lacquer to a reproduction Jomon pot in Yamanashi Prefecture and this pot will be used to hold wine. The talented photographer, Everett Brown, has produced photographs of Jomon pots that have been mounted as picture scrolls, the ends of the bottom roller of each finished with a rich coating of urushi lacquer by Tohru MATSUZAKI. Tohru MATSUZAKI aged 70. It appears that he aims to return to the origins of urushi lacquer--the Jomon period. "

- Keiko Aono, the owner of Ippodo gallery
About the Artist
Using chisels and planes he carves the basic forms for his work from valuable blocks of solid zelkova or chestnut wood, finishing them in thick coatings of Japanese urushi lacquer. He creates forms that appear simple but are highly refined, the vermillion red lacquer evoking images of the Jomon period (ca 11000 BC - ca 300 BC). These unique works can be said to embody the essence of the Japanese 'mingei' folk craft movement.

1944 Born in the Umegaoka district of Tokyo as the eldest son of Nihonga-style painter and dyer, Shu-ki Matsuzaki
1967 Graduated from the Literature Department of Tamagawa University
1974 Studied under the potter, Tatsuzo Shimaoka
1982 First selected for the Kokugakai exhibition
1983 Received the Kokugakai New Talent Award
1984 Became an affiliate member of the Kokugakai
1987 Received the Kokugakai Affiliate Award for Excellence
1988 Nominated for membership of the Kokugakai
Moved his studio to Motegi-machi, Tochigi Prefecture
2001 Produced the vases for Daniel Ost's Daniel Ost Flower Festival in Tokyo
2002 Contributed to Shigeru Uchida's Exhibit at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2002 in Milan, Italy
2003 Participated in the Turning Point: Oribe and the Arts of Sixteenth Century Japan exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
2006-2009 Become a Chairman of the Judging Committee of Craft Section of the Kokugakai
2009&2012 Solo exhibition at Ippodo Gallery New York
1996-Present Exhibition at Ippodo Gallery Tokyo

In addition, holds various solo and group exhibitions throughout the country.

Public Collection:
Philadelphia Museum of Art / Philadelphia, PA
Detroit Institute of Arts / Detroit, MI
University of Michigan Museum of Art / Ann Arbor, MI
Schleswig Folk Museum / Schleswig, Germany
Kuri no Ki Museum / Nagano, Japan