"Sudden Shower and Thumderstorm" Box

Yoshio Okada (b. 1977)

"Sudden Shower and Thumderstorm" Box

Item number: T-4177
Size: H 7.5" x W 17" (19 x 43.2 cm)


Kanshitsu lacquer body; gold, silver, and colored hiramaki-e and takamaki-e with shell inlay and gold nashiji on a polished black-lacquer ground; the interior gold nashiji on black lacquer

Signed inside with gold hiramaki-e characters Yoshio tsukuru  (Made by Yoshio)

With fitted kiri-wood tomobako storage box inscribed Maki-e kanshitsubako Shūu Hekireki ("Sudden Shower and Thunderstorm" dried-lacquer box with sprinkled design) and signed Yoshio tsukuru  (Made by Yoshio)

Exhibited: Kyōto Bunka Hakubutsukan (The Museum of Kyoto), 2017

In both form and execution, this kanshitsu (dried-lacquer) box stands apart from the eight pieces in the "Celestial Phenomena" series featured on other pages of this publication; while its unusual form has no traditional precedent, its decoration reprises some of the lacquer styles and techniques of the Momoyama (1573–1615) and Edo periods. The zigzag pattern, known in Japanese as inazuma ("lighting bolt") and seen as a background motif in several famous late-sixteenth-century and seventeenth-century works, is combined here with such details as e-nashiji (gold flakes used to enhance specific areas of the design) and abise maki-e (fine maki-e lines applied over decoration executed in other techniques). By abruptly terminating the design so that it seems to disappear into the darkness of a stormy night, Okada gives the box a distinctly contemporary flavor, avoiding any sense of historicist revival or pastiche.

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