A Secret Beauty: The Spirit of Japanese Maki-e at Brunei Gallery, SOAS
An exhibition of the Lacquer Work of Koyanagi Tanekuni
Lacquer has been used in Japan for almost 10,000 years to protect and decorate objects, such as wood, bamboo, earthenware, and textiles. Its resistance to moisture and degradation make it a useful coating for utensils, storage containers, furniture, sculpture and wooden architecture. As a decorative medium, lacquer has had a high status in Japan. The lacquerware decorated in gold and silver particles known as makie, which was first introduced in the 8th century, is a culmination of Japanese aesthetic sensibility and purity. The value and prestige of lacquerware is shown by the status of its patrons, which included emperors, nobilities, shoguns and daimyos.