Sasai Fumie

Sasai Fumie


In Japan, ‘nurimono’ refers to things that are coated. The most common are things that are coated with urushi, (lacquer), a highly skilled craft in Japan for centuries.

The most common types of lacquer surfaces are those that are highly polished with a glossy sheen, or matte surfaces which have a soft appearance with a slight luster. These finished textures express the character of the piece as well as the personality and tastes of the artist. I prefer the matte surface of lacquer and a weight of the object which is comfortable to handle, because I want people to desire to touch them and enjoy and appreciate the inherent tactile qualities of the lacquer surface.

I create pieces that are based on forms that I believe have endearing universal appeal, such as flowers, fruit or children. I use the matte surfaces and soft forms to express tenderness in order to elicit these feelings from other people. For the basic forms, I use an ancient Japanese technique known as kanshitsu, which in my forms is dry lacquer applied to hemp cloth and Styrofoam.

I have pursued this concept for a very long time. However, in the spring of 2014, something new emerged in my work that was inspired by the crisp folds and layers of traditional Japanese kimono.

Subsequently I had opportunities to collaborate with artists in other genres and media, such as bamboo, porcelain, and other lacquer decorations such as makie and kirikane, which I exhibited in Tokyo in the fall of 2014. This experience was very exciting for me because out of those collaborations, I developed unexpected shapes with new expressions.

While I will continue pursuing my original concept of using endearing forms, I also want to explore these new possibilities in contributing to the new world of lacquer art.