SIMON PILLING: EAST ASIAN ART & INTERIORS
My business deals in fine Japanese Art and specialising in urushi (Japanese lacquer) – from Japan’s pre-modern period through to the 21st-century. Particular emphasis, however, is placed on 20th-century artistic development and the work of contemporary artists, whose dedication ensures the continuation of Japan’s quintessential lacquer arts.
For my inaugural showing on the relaunched Asian Art in London website I present 10 items of lacquer spanning the last 100 years. Each displays continuity with Japan’s long artistic traditions but charts the developments of the 20th century from the work by Kamisaka Sekka – the Kyoto artist and designer credited by many for taking Japanese design into the Modern Era – through to a striking, large scale, contemporary sculptural work by Fujino Seiichiro. The journey passes through Art Deco imagery and Japan’s period of colonial ambition and military confidence and its aftermath. Art, as always, reflects society’s developing values through these times.