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Craft Artist
Eiko Tanaka
Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture
W87 × H140 × D80cm
Japanese horse chestnut, lacquer

The true value of beauty

Eiko Tanaka is a creator based in Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture, who has studied the techniques of Yamanaka lacquerware. She is an artist who devotes herself to all processes from grinding the wood to lacquering, and is active in a wide range of fields both in Japan and abroad.

This work, Shimadori or “Striped Bird,” was created using a piece of horse chestnut with a pattern of black streaks caused by the growth of bacteria. This kind of wood is called “spalted” and is usually discarded, but Eiko found a beauty in the naturally occurring patterns and brought out the best of this Japanese horse chestnut’s individuality. Her work, born from her flexible approach, gives viewers a fresh impression and makes them aware of the unique beauty of the material. The dignified shape is also somehow lovely, and unconsciously makes you want to caress it.

The richly unique Japanese horse chestnut is given a new lease on life by the hands of this unique kijishi, or woodworker.