T.212.967.4899 | mail@ippodogallery.com | www.ippodogallery.com
Hatchet shaved tame-nuri lacquer tea caddy
Jihei Murase
Item Number:C17037
Mon. - Fri. : 11 a.m.to 6 p.m. | Saturdays by appointment

Special Reception with exhibiting artists :
November 8, 6 - 8 p.m.

Please join us for a special reception to celebrate and welcome our artists,
Suikei Saito and Jihei Murase, from Japan !
A modern Japanese tea ceremony will be performed by Jihei Murase.

*Please note that our gallery will be closed on
November 1st from 11 AM- 3 PM & 4th to 7th , due to outside project.


Ippodo Gallery is pleased to present a selection of works by nine artists, in conjunction with the exhibition, A Teahouse for Philadelphia, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). Ippodo artists, Jihei Murase, Tohru Matsuzaki, Suikei Saito, and Kenji Wakasugi, will be on view through July 30, 2018, so Ippodo welcomes the chance to run these artists in a concurrent showcase at our New York gallery, with additional works on view by five artists -- Keiji Ito, Akito Nizato, Shiro Tsujimura, Koji Hatakeyama, and Kyokko Kaida.

The exhibition centers around Wabi Sabi, a cultural tradition rooted in the beauty of imperfection and impermanence. Authenticity in this careful carelessness knows no translation, but is a celebration of all things natural and unadorned. It is a meditative aesthetic, and one greatly esteemed in Japanese culture.

Each artist has an individual ability to express this Wabi Sabi ideal:

Jihei Murase (b. 1957) creates harmonious lacquerware from 100-year-old timber and straight virgin trees, dried and prized for delicate, thin grooves to emphasize forms created by nature. Lacquerware by Tohru Matsuzaki (b. 1944) also uses precious zelkova wood, but the artist applies his hand to chiseling the grooves of the rich vermillion red, black and silver. Ceramics by Keiji Ito (b. 1935) are minimalistic, world renowned Shijo Tsujimura (b. 1947) ‘s rare pieces from his time in Devon (UK in 1993) are whimsical, and by younger Akio Niisato (b. 1977), having previously taught a Harvard ceramics from 2009-2012, all continue to evolve from a place of passion and creativity, and have been shown all over the world.
Kyokko Kaida (b.1946)’s bamboo tea scoops are poetic, while the weathered surfaces of Koji Hatakeyama (b.1956) ’s bronze boxes convey the material’s individual history.
The juxtaposition of forms, past and present ideals, and a delicacy of craft continue through more innovative techniques. This can be seen in the works by calligrapher, Suikei Saito (b. 1945), who explores stillness, nothingness, and emptiness. As a photographer, Kenji Wakasugi (b. 1941) digitally manipulates images on landscapes, striking a balance between tradition and modernity. Wakasugi uses Sumi ink, pigments, and gold and silver leaf on scanned photographs, with his most recent mixed media work an homage to the tea masters, Sen Rikyu and Oribe Huruta.

Ultimately this continues Ippodo’s efforts to sync with the natural world in an ongoing appreciation of the beauty of both artwork and the earth itself. This emphasis on technique and materials culled from the earth syncs with the ideals of Wabi Sabi, in that there is a play between tradition and modernity, while embracing the curvatures found organically. Through changing technologies and mixed media, each artist maintains these ideals of discovery and reverence, making for a worthy group show of proven museum-quality works.
About the Artist
A third-generation woodworker and lacquer craftsman, he performs every stage of the production himself, from turning the wooden bases to applying the natural urushi lacquer. He inherited his grandfather's close association with the tea ceremony and carries out research into tea-ceremony utensils. Using his skill with the lathe, he creates superb forms and also demonstrates outstanding lacquering finish. He produces unique Negoro-style works that are ideally suited to the twenty-first century.

1957 Born in Tokyo as the grandson of the first generation Jihei who was a craftsman working with the wooden base and lacquer coating under the direction and patronage of Kitaoji Rosanjin.
1975 Graduated from Tokyo Metropolitan High School of Music & the Fine Arts.
1980 Graduated from the Sculpture Department of Tokyo Zokei University.
In the same year, joined the long-standing family lacquerware wooden base and coating business.
Received instruction in the Way of Tea from Suzuki Sokan of Hibi-an, a Master of the Urasenke School of Tea.
2001 Inherited the name, Jihei III, and the position of 7th generation lacquerware base maker
2010 Exhibited at About the Tea Ceremony: A Viewpoint on Contemporary Kogei held at the National Museum of Modern Art Crafts Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2014 Exhibited at Kogei and the Tea Ceremony held at the National Museum of Modern Art Crafts Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2016 Solo exhibition Lacquer Forms: Modern Negoro at Ippodo Gallery New York
Solo exhibition at Ippodo Gallery Tokyo

Thereafter exhibits in numerous galleries and department stores within Japan and throughout the world.

Public Collection:
Philadelphia Museum of Art / Philadelphia, PA
Yale University Art Gallery (Asian art collection) / New Haven, CT
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo / Japan

Jihei Murase - The Technique of Lacquer from Shoko Aono on Vimeo.