photo Kiyomi Okukubo

Kiyomi Okukubo

Lacquer sap is collected by making many deep cuts into lacquer tree trunks and precisely for that reason, I wish to show my respect and appreciation for this gift of nature by making the maximum use of the characteristics of lacquer, such as its strength after hardening or its deep luster. I make plain bases by pasting layers of hemp cloth onto a fine detailed plaster mold; I also make dynamic forms by the hand-twisting of ropes and non-woven fabric into which lacquer first infiltrates, and then I leave the natural hardening property of lacquer to give further free shape to my workpieces. When applying decoration, guided by the red square boxes made for the household effects of feudal lords, I repeatedly explore ways to ensure that the red texture appears as a pattern similar to maki-e (sprinkled picture decoration) or raden (mother-of-pearl inlay).


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  • Honors and Affiliation
    Full member, Japan Kogei Association


  • 1984
    Completed the Master’s Degree in Urushi-Art at the Department of Crafts, Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts
  • 1986
    Submitted to the Exhibition of Japanese Traditional Urushi Works for the first time
  • 1990
    Submitted to the Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition for the first time
  • 1993
    Completed the Training Course in Repairing Cultural Properties held by the Agency for Cultural Affairs
  • 1998
    Solo exhibition “Flower Party” (Ginza Bungeishunju Gallery)
     “Vessels of Fragrance Today” Exhibition (Museum of Fragrance, Iwata)
  • 1999
    Trained abroad for a year (Western Europe, North America) up until 2000, assisted by the Gotoh Memorial Foundation
  • 2001
    Solo exhibition “Return from Overseas Training Commemoration Exhibition” (Bunkamura Gallery)
  • 2002
    Solo exhibition “Water, Flower and Wind” (Nagoya Yohaku)
    Solo exhibition “Vivid” (Ginza Gallery Tanaka)
  • 2003
    Solo exhibition “Activity” (Keio Plaza Hotel)
    Dispatched by the Agency for Cultural Affairs to the UK for training, for a year up until 2004
  • 2004
    “SETAGAYA ART 2004” Exhibition (Setagaya Art Museum)
  • 2006
    “SETAGAYA ART 2006” Exhibition (Setagaya Art Museum)
    Solo exhibition “Overseas Training Report -There-” (Keio Plaza Hotel)
  • 2008
    Solo exhibition “Version” (Ginza Gallery Tanaka)
  • 2010
    Solo exhibition –Assort- (Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi)
  • 2011
    Tainan International Treechi Art Exhibition (Taiwan)
  • 2012
    125th Anniversary Event Tokyo University of the Arts, URUSHI ART History and the Future Exhibition (The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts)


  • 1995
    Received the Tokyo Board of Education Award at the 12th Exhibition of Japanese Traditional Urushi Works
  • 1998
    Received the Best New Artist Award at the 9th Goto Memorial Awards
  • 2003
    Sent abroad by the Agency for Cultural Affairs as a dispatch trainee