“Moon Boat” is a work of eye-catchingly beautiful vermilion color and delicate bamboo lattice patterns which unites the two in perfect harmony.
In September 2018, works made through collaborations between traditional artists in different fields were shown at Wako Ginza under the theme, “BEYOND BOUNDARIES”. One of the works on display was a collaboration between dry lacquer artist SASAI Fumie and Tanabe Chikuunsai Ⅳ, a bamboo artist.The work, as its utopian name suggests, evokes the beautiful and elegant form of the moon, which anyone can bring to mind. By using the contrastive color vermilion, which is not associated with the moon, a work made with classic Japanese materials, lacquer and bamboo, has been elevated to an entirely contemporary art form.With its broad, gentle curves, the pointed ends on both sides rise smoothly, and the beautiful boat-like shape evokes in us a romantic mood.
The white, light expressions of bamboo and hard even surface of vermilion lacquer create a beautiful contrast. The hard lacquer art of female artist SASAI Fumie and flexible bamboo art of male artist Tanabe Chikuunsai Ⅳ have created a beautiful work of tremendous appeal.
The vermilion color is an essential part of all works by dry lacquer artist SASAI Fumie. Also the gentle, round shape is characteristic of dry lacquer works and is in keeping with Sasai’s unique artistic style. Her works, made with a desire to exude individuality, all have her own charm. Every work made by thinking about how to derive herself from then on while having rules on original color and construction method is attractive. The soft, feminine boat shape, which utilizes this style, gives a sense of calm while also making visible the convictions of Sasai, a woman with a core of great strength. Even though the style retains the strength and gentleness which Fumie Sasai possesses, it never interferes with the expression of bamboo. Both play off each other wonderfully to create a work all its own.
The scraped bamboo gleams brilliant white, appearing to us like beauty made by nature. The surface, created by carefully layering delicate bamboo sticks one on top of the other, generates an even greater abundance of expressions. The soft curves are brought evenly together to create a beautiful, ripple-like pattern, which evokes a “Moon Boat” akin to the work’s title. The weaved-in bamboo gives the impression of depth, using air-like gentleness and letting just the right amount of light through so as to elicit an elegant, refined aura. Although made with a high level of weaving technique and aesthetic sense, the work’s doesn't make feel it; because it has instead comes from the tradition and experience of Tanabe Chikuunsai Ⅳ.
Strangely, both artists are exactly the same age, and the product of their collaboration, “Moon Boat”, makes spectacular use of both of their individual characteristics. Strength and flexibility, vermilion and white, the detail is flat and three-dimensional. Although each part in contrasts, a beauty is created which comfortably balances the two. And that is the greatest appeal of any collaboration.