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"Silhouette" Yoshihiko MURATA Lacquer Art Solo Exhibition 8.7 - 6.8.2023

Curated and presented by The Gallery by SOIL


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Artist Statement

Many of my pieces are carved out of solid maple with a knife. Maple is hard and difficult to scratch, but extremely resilient. It is thin enough to be bent with both hands, flexible like a bow, perfect for expressing natural soft lines. For my creations, no matter from which angle you look at them, I will try my best to present the lines of my work beautifully. For me, lines are the flow of planes, and the boundaries between planes. Therefore, sanding a smooth and beautiful surface, helps create harmony between surfaces, and beautiful lines will be created naturally.

For me, lines are the flow of planes, and the boundaries between planes. Therefore, sanding a smooth and beautiful surface, helps create harmony between surfaces, and beautiful lines will be created naturally. Lacquer is a fascinating material that gives me a mysterious depth. Its austere sheen is reflected in my work. Lacquer art is intoxicating, it doesn't make you feel the time and effort you put into it. Most importantly, it is a material that accentuates light and shadow.

During my graduation exhibition, the moment I put the lacquer work into the booth and illuminated it with spotlights, “silhouette’” is presented on the work. It brings me an illusory and mysterious feeling, like a dream, illusion and reality.

That experience prompted me to delve into my own way to pursue the Japanese aesthetic of "shadow".

Since I was a student, I have had a strong interest in Japanese culture and art, including Buddhist statues, Shinto art, ink paintings, brocade paintings, tea ceremony utensils and other beautiful things. Since ancient times, the Japanese have believed that gods live in the natural world and are full of faith in the natural world. Maybe that's why I continue to create pieces that incorporate the austere look of nature. At the same time, I found beauty in the Japanese culture of humbly facing nature.

This is the reason why I take nature as the subject of creation. Face and respect the nature, and live with it. Without using too many lacquer art techniques, the fleeting beauty is presented, and it feels like the continuous beauty of Japan.








About the Creation “Silhouette”

The “silhouette” series originates from the concept of "shadow" in traditional Japanese aesthetic concept. The momentary beauty of creatures and plants, the sound of wind and the scent of flowers that resonate with the five senses, are all reflected in the depths of darkness and the shadows created by reflections.

The Japanese word "kage (かげ)" includes not only shadows caused by light, but also darkness, images of people and things, memories, hallucinations, and ephemeral things, all of the above. The forms of the works are born by connecting the emotions and feelings that I get from their "silhouette" with the emotions and feelings I get from nature, which is the root of my decision on the outline of the works.

Among the many meanings of "silhouette", I pay particular attention to "light".

To express nature through lacquer, I hope to make people realise that the nature that we take for granted is irreplaceable. Besides, I also hope that my work can bring joy and hope to people like "light".







Yoshihiko MURATA

Born in Kiryu, Japan, in 1977,Yoshihiko Murata obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Kanazawa College of Art in 2001 and completed his training in Kanazawa Utatsuyama Craft Workshop in 2005.

Murata’s work relies heavily on the external play of light that creates silhouettes which continue his forms and flow indistinguishably from the sculptural pieces themselves. This engaging illusion teases one’s perception of where the black lacquer ends and the shadow begins.

He applies more than 20 coats of lacquer, each coat of which is polished, requiring several months to complete a single piece. It was his satisfactory mastery of lacquering that led him to develop his recent lyrical Silhouette Series whose lines twist and turn, swell and fade, like the sounds from a musical instrument.

Murata has exhibited extensively both in his native Japan and oversea countries such as Italy, Germany and US. Minneapolis Institute of Art in Minnesota, US acquired his work.





他曾在意大利、德國和美國等海外國家展出,作品更被美國明尼蘇達州Minneapolis Institute of Art收藏。


1. Sleeping Mountain

Natural lacquer, maple

H205 x W1115 x D110 mm


14.Sounds of deer

Natural lacquer, maple

H190 x W120 x D230 mm


5. From one stream I

Natural lacquer, maple

H380 x W120 x D40 mm




The Gallery by SOIL


Shop H, G/F Hollywood Building

186 Hollywood Road (Entrance at Upper Station Street)

Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Opening Hours:

12nn - 6pm, Tuesday-Friday

12nn - 6:30pm, Saturday-Sunday

Off on Monday and public holidays

Enquiry: 2217 9288 / 9559 3908

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