2009年08月31日

News from Eastern Skies

Although an impending typhoon has coloured the skies above Tokyo a bleak grey, the forecast for Japan's political future is bright. As many of you may know, the LDP has lost their grip over government, and a new age for parliamentary politics in Japan has dawned, for better or for worse.

August has traditionally been a quiet month in many sectors of business, and the art world is not alone in sharing a bit of peace and quiet before the busy Autumn season unfolds. However, I've been far busier than I could have imagined due to preparations for upcoming exhibitions, both domestic and abroad, as well as meeting various artists and clients. Naturally the time able to be allocated to this blog have dwindled as a result, even though I had many interesting topics to write about.

In any case, I hope to begin writing much more in September, starting with a new monthly series on the Einin Tsubo Incident (the battle between two brilliant individuals - the legendary Kato Tokuro and Koyama Fujio, among others).

Furthermore, the Yufuku website will be completely revamped by late September, and the Toku homepage, which had represented Yufuku's international affairs, will be replaced by a new English website under Yufuku's name. I apologise for the confusion, yet the relationship between Yufuku (my father's company) and Toku (my company) is being reorganised for the better. Expect the new website to feature more content, and perhaps more importantly, will be updated far more often.

Lastly, it is with deep sadness and regret that I announce the death of our beloved lacquer artist Suzuki Mutsumi (鈴木睦美 1942 - 2009), who passed away on May 17th, 2009 from kidney failure. All of us at Yufuku were in London during this time, and returned to Tokyo several days later to hear the fateful news, which shook us all by surprise. His death has not been openly publicised due to the wishes of Mutsumi-san's family. However, more than 3 months have passed since his death, and the time is ripe to pay our respects to one of the greatest lacquer artists of his generation.

suzuki_artist.jpg

mutsumi 129.jpg
(Mutsumi-san's beautiful home, which brings back many pleasant memories)

Lacquered Sake Cup

Black Lacquer Bowl

Silver Lacquer Bowl

Various Works

Lacquered Bowls

Various Works

Lacquered Plate with Gold Makie Motif of Rice Fields

Silver and Gold Lacquer Plate with Roaring Wave Motif

Suzuki Mutsumi 2009 Collect Inaho.jpg
(Perhaps his last great work which captured the amazing artistry and craftsmanship of Suzuki Mutsumi, a gold makie lacquered box of golden rice fields, made in 2008)

The lacquer world has lost one of its most world-renowned artists, and all of us will miss him so.

Respectfully,

Wahei Aoyama 青山和平
Toku Art Limited

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