Japanese Print Collection Nihon no hanga in Amsterdam will present a special display of contemporary lacquerware in collaboration with the Japanese crafts centre Echizen. The exhibition, titled Echizen: A New Era of Lacquerware Design, can be visited from Wednesday 18 until Sunday 22 March. Nihon no hanga will be opened from 12.00 to 17.00 on these days.
On Saturday 21 March, there will be a lacquerware demonstration. Japanese master chef Fumio Niimi will demonstrate new culinary designs inspired by Echizen’s products.
Japanese lacquer (urushi) is one of Japan’s oldest crafts. Excavations have revealed lacquered items that are more than 9000 years old. Despite this incredibly long history, little has changed in the way natural lacquerware is produced. Urushi is still 100% handmade, using a natural resin that is tapped from lacquer trees from sustainable plantations. In the battle against plastics, this ancient tradition may actually mark the beginning of a new future for lacquer in the modern world.
Lacquer holds strong ties with Japan’s traditional cuisine (washoku). Its naturally disinfectant surface makes it the ideal material for the production of traditional tableware. However, Japan’s culinary tradition has seen some radical changes over the past decades, making it difficult to fit lacquerware into the daily lives of modern Japanese families. Traditional production centres like Echizen and Wajima are struggling to maintain a balance between preservation and progress.
Through collaboration with a team of international designers from the Tokyo University of the Arts, Echizen has developed a new series of lacquerware products which are more suitable to a contemporary, urban lifestyle. All items are still 100% handmade, using only natural materials. This event marks Echizen’s first step onto the international stage.
Due to the great success of the November exhibition, Nihon no hanga, decided to give everyone an extra chance to visit the exhibition Great Tokyo: One Hundred Views by Koizumi Kishio during the Echizen lacquerware display. The exhibition will be open to visitors on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 March, from 12.00 to 17.00.
Source: Nihon no hanga