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"Seeds of Life" Mayumi ONAGI Urushi Art Solo Exhibition《 小梛真弓的藝術 - 生命之籽 》漆展

Curated and presented by

The Gallery by SOIL


Mayumi ONAGI

Mayumi ONAGI, born in 1979 in Tokyo, is currently based in Chiba, Japan.

Onagi graduated from Tama Art University in 2001 with a degree in Architecture and Environmental Design. After that, she worked as a garden designer at Japan Landscape Consultants under the leadership of Shunmyo Masuno.

After exploring various art, design, and architectural disciplines, Onagi decided to focus on creating objects using her own hands. As a child, she had encountered the traditional Japanese lacquer-making technique in her father's hometown of Ishikawa Prefecture, and later as an adult, she became deeply interested in it. Before becoming an independent artist, she apprenticed under Nagatoshi Ohnishi, an honorary Professor at Tokyo University of the Arts, to learn the Urushi lacquer techniques.

Onagi's accomplishments include winning the Grand Prize at the Japan Crafts Exhibition in 2006 (Japan Craft Design Association), the Excellent Award at the Japan Jewelry Art Competition in 2008 (Japan Jewelry Designers Association), the Grand Prize at the Ishikawa International Urushi Exhibition in 2017 (Ishikawa Design Center), and being a finalist for the LOEWE Craft Prize in 2022 (Spain). Her works have been extensively exhibited in Japan, as well as in Asia and Europe. In January 2024, she was featured in the book “100 Lacquer Artists: The Elite of Modern Japan."




在探索不同的藝術、設計和建築領域之後、小梛決定專注於使用自己的雙手創造物品。她在童年時期在父親家鄉石川縣接觸到傳統日本漆藝、長大後對此再產生濃厚興趣。 成為藝術家之前、她曾在東京藝術大學名譽教授大西長利的指導下學習漆藝技術。

小梛的成就包括2006年獲得日本工藝展大獎(日本工藝術設計協會)、2008 年獲得日本珠寶藝術競賽優秀獎(日本珠寶設計師協會)、2017年獲石川國際漆展大獎(石川設計中心), 以及2022年入圍西班牙羅意威工藝獎。 她的作品在日本以及亞洲和歐洲廣泛展出。 2024年1月、她被收錄於 《100位漆藝家:現代日本的精英》一書。

“Seeds of Life”

In my work, I place importance on feeling the shape and texture with my palm or fingertips. Spending time with Urushi in this way creates a calming and meditative experience for me. As I create and interact with the medium, Urushi leads me to new scenery, giving a sense of adventure.

As I go about my days, I feel the mystery of life, and create works based on that feeling. When I am in the forest, I sense a great invisible energy. I receive messages that cannot be expressed in words from everything around me - the breathing of plants, the shining sunlight, dripping water, and the blowing wind. I feel a tremendous power in the cycle of life, where countless existences have accumulated on earth, and new life continually emerges.

Over the years, as I have experienced both birth and separation from loved ones, I have come to feel the unbroken chain of life extending from ancient times to the future, and the great sustaining force that underlies it. I am deeply moved that when the gallery proposed to me the title of my first solo exhibition in Hong Kong "Seeds of Life." I have always aimed to create works that breathe quietly, like seeds filled with the mysteries of life.

I hope that viewers can engage with my work as if discovering something while taking a walk in the forest experiencing the textures with their hands and feeling a sense of quiet contemplation.



我的創作源於對生命奧秘的深切體悟。置身於森林、我能感知到一種難以言表的強大能量、從植物的呼吸、陽光的閃耀、滴水聲、颯颯風聲中接收到無言的訊息。我敬畏生命循環的磅磷力量-無數生命在這片土地上積澱、 新的生命不斷誕生。


我希望觀眾能用雙手感受作品的質感,彷彿在森林裡沉浸、探索、發現、 寧靜地感受、思考。

Materials and techniques

Mayumi ONAGI utilizes the traditional "Kanshitsu" technique, which is a modeling method that hardens linen and clay with Urushi lacquer.

As she finishes her works, Onagi asks herself, "What do I want it to become?" She may apply red or black lacquer repeatedly to create a glossy finish, or choose to minimize the lacquer application to highlight the simple texture of the base material. The warmth of the earth is expressed by applying lacquer into the surface and polishing it multiple times. The gold and silver tones are achieved by sprinkling either gold leaf or tin powder.

Onagi also combines wood carving with the “Kanshitsu" technique. When she encounters the wood material, she can feel the age of its growth rings and grains, which inspire her. She superimposes images of strata and water onto the flow of the wood grain, enjoying the process of carving the shapes.

Over the past 20 years, while exploring the appeal of lacquer, Onagi has created a variety of works, including accessories, bags, vessels, and objects.


小梛真弓採用傳統的「乾漆 Kanshitsu」技術 - 這是一種以黏土塑形,然後裱上麻布,塗上大漆,重覆多層以加固的方法。


小梛也把木雕技術與「乾漆 Kanshitsu」相結合。當她接觸木材時,她能感受到木的年輪和紋理,從而獲得靈感,甚至想像把有如岩層和水的圖像疊加在木紋之上,她就是享受在造型中那過程。



Exhibition Highlights 展覽亮點

View the catalogue appended below. Visit our gallery. Contact for enquiry and purchase. 


34. Sphere

Mayumi ONAGI

Urushi, linen, wood

D430mm x W460mm x H570mm

1. Rebirth 

Mayumi ONAGI

Urushi, linen

D50mm x 280mm x H360mm

31. Urushi Bag II

Mayumi ONAGI

Urushi, linen, silk string, leather

D60mm x W190mm x H110mm

30. Urushi Bag Ⅰ

Mayumi ONAGI

Urushi, linen, leather string

D50mm x W130mm x H110mm

27. Urushi Capsule II 

Mayumi ONAGI

Urushi, linen, wood (Katsura), silk string

D15mm x W60mm x H85mm

16. Origin

Mayumi ONAGI

Urushi, linen, wood (Katsura)

D40mm x W45mm x H40mm

D95mm x W150mm x H55mm

15. Sprout

Mayumi ONAGI

Urushi, linen, wood (Katsura)

D40mm x W35mm x H50mm

D80mm x W100mm x H95mm

If you are interested in any of these art pieces and would like us to arrange a private viewing for you, please email to or WhatsApp 95593908

若您對任何作品感興趣,而希望可安排私人會面時段,請電郵至 或 WhatsApp 95593908 ,我們樂意為您服務。


The Gallery by SOIL is dedicated to presenting the art of lacquer from Asia. It is probably the first gallery in Hong Kong which brings together lacquer masters and artists of diverse cultures, blending the traditional with the contemporary to showcase variety in the discipline.


Shop 102, 1/F, Barrack Block, Tai Kwun,

10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong

Opening Hours:

12nn - 6pm Tuesday - Sunday

Enquiry: 5916 9266 / 9559 3908


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