Nakagawa Mamoru

Yubae (Sunset’s Glow), 2011; vase; cast alloy of copper, silver, and tin with inlays of copper, silver, and gold
h.8 1/2 x w.12 x d.7 in. (22 x 30.5 x 17.8 cm)

Nakagawa Mamoru

Yubae II (Sunset’s Glow), 2013; vase; cast alloy of copper, silver, and tin with inlays of copper, silver, and gold

h.7 1/2 x w.12 5/8 x d.5 1/2 in. (19 x 32 x 14 cm)

Nakagawa Mamoru

Asagumo (Morning Cloud), 2016; vase; cast brass with inlays of silver, copper, silver and shakudo

h.6x w.13 3/4 x d.5 1/8 in. (15.2 x 35 x 13 cm)

Nakagawa Mamoru

Unkai (Sea of Clouds), 2015; vase; cast alloy of copper, silver, and tin with inlays of copper, silver, and gold

h.7 1/2 x w.15 1/2 x d.6 in. (19 x 39.5 x 15.2 cm)

Nakagawa Mamoru

Mado (Window), 2015; vase; cast alloy of copper, silver, and tin with inlays of copper, silver, and gold

h.11 x w.13 3/4 x d.7 in. (28 x 35 x 18 cm)

Nakagawa Mamoru

Ichi (One), 2011; vase; cast alloy of copper, silver, and tin with inlays of copper, silver, and gold

h.5 x w.13 1/2 x d.7 in. (12.7 x 34.3 x 17.8 cm)

Nakagawa Mamoru

Water Jar, 2009; cast alloy of copper, silver, and tin with inlays of copper, silver, and gold; lacquer lid

h.7 1/2 x w.8 1/2 x d.6 in. (19 x 21.6 x 15.2 cm)

Yubutai_Nakagawa

Yubutai (Evening Stage), 2011; vase; cast alloy of copper, silver, and tin with inlays of copper, silver, and gold

h.8 1/2 x w.12 x d.7 in. (22 x 30.5 x 17.8 cm)

Nakagawa Mamoru (b. 1947)

Nakagawa Mamoru

Living National Treasure (2014)

Nakagawa Mamoru, recognized for his outstanding mastery of zogan (metal-inlay), was designated a Living National Treasure by the Japanese government in 2004. At the age of 56, Nakagawa was the youngest artist ever to receive this honor, as the average recipient is over 80 years old. The title Living National Treasure is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated abilities and skills deemed to be critical to the essence of Japanese culture.

Kanazawa, his native city, developed as a castle town of the Kaga domain (present-day Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures), during the Edo period (1615–1868). It was known as a center of metal-inlay craftwork, supported by the feudal lords. However, the metal-inlay tradition, like other craftwork traditions withered under the pressures of industrialization and modernization since the Meiji Restoration. Nakagawa has been a seminal figure in a successful initiative to revive metal-inlay as an important genre of craftwork. He has enlivened the traditionally monotone realm of metal casting, for example, with an unprecedented palette of colors.

As the zogan technique is said to have originated around Turkey, the artist has visited the area more than ten times, following the route of the Silk Road, the cultural crossroads between the East and the West. Nakagawa identifies the roots of his metal-inlay techniques there in its amalgamation of East and West, as well as of tradition and innovation.

In 2008, one of his masterpieces Sekisei was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.


Nakagawa Mamoru (b. 1947) Exhibits

2012 – 2013
Asia Week,New York, US
1988 – 2013
The Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan
2009 – 2013
Onishi Gallery, New York,US
2008
SOFA, New York, US
2007
The British Museum, London, UK
2004
Danish Museum of Art and Design, Copenhagen, Danemark
1999
Mitsukoshi Etoile, Paris, France
1995
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

Public Collections (partial listing)

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York / The British Museum, London / Victoria and Albert Museum, London / 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa / Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art, Kanazawa / Jingu Museum, Ise / Kanazawa College of Art, Kanazawa / Kyushu Sangyo University, Fukuoka