Detail: Opening reception March 16, 6-8pm
Ippodo Gallery New York illuminates a modern lacquer technique that disrupts preconceived notions of the raden (mother-of -pearl inlay) tradition. Terumasa Ikeda: Iridescent Lacquer—on showcases Terumasa Ikeda’s revolutionary laser-incised raden technique, a method the artist spent eight years developing. Ikeda was born and resides in Kanazawa, known as the country’s preeminent hub for lacquerware production. Arabic numerals, computer screens, and digital signals—all assembled from abalone shell—adorn the twenty object boxes, tea caddies, and incense containers.
In various sizes, from cubes to hexagons to pyramids, Ikeda’s artworks are crafted from most precious materials: a base of Japanese native kiso hinoki wood is coated with innumerable layers of black urushi lacquer and decorated with gold leaf, gold powder, and mother-of-pearl. With a hand in each step of the fabrication, the pristine forms cut from wood and varnished with urushi lacquer perfectly accentuate the miniscule and intricate decorations of Ikeda’s design.
The truly unique interpretation of the rare technique has made Terumasa Ikeda one of the most sought after raden artists of the new generation. For Ikeda, this technique is a most natural progression in keeping with the times; where once raden was dominated by images of the divine, Ikeda’s cutting-edge artworks assert that magic—really, the laws and values of our modern society—is one to ten and everything in between.