Graduating in 2008 with a master of fine arts from Kyoto City University of Arts, contemporary urushi lacquerware artist Genta Ishizuka held his first international solo exhibition in London last year. This year he received Kyoto City’s Best Young Artist Award; then the prestigious and lucrative Loewe Foundation Craft Prize for craft and design excellence. Around 15 of his recent works are now on show in “Polyphase Membrane,” a solo exhibition at Artcourt Gallery, in Osaka, until Sept. 21.
Ishizuka established himself after graduation with black-and-red lacquer panels decorated with knife blades, needles, paper clips, and washers. For him, the shiny and reflective metal objects were a contemporary corollary to the more traditional materials of lacquer decoration like mother-of-pearl and precious metal powders. Comparable works on show are the black lacquer panels “Poly phase” (2019) and “Dual Phase #1” (2019), both of which utilize silver and gold washers arranged into clusters, with the larger ones at center and the smaller ones on the periphery. The visual effect is one of dark surfaces that are both lustrous and absorptive, while the decorative washer configurations suggest cosmic explosions and dispersion.