Living Kogei 藝流不息
Contemporary Japanese Craft from the Ise Collection 伊勢文化財團藏日本當代工藝
Introductory essay by Ben Chiesa 紀奕邦 撰著
October 2019
100 pages
11" x 11", over 60 color illustrations
HK$200 (Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, and Taiwan only)
US$30 (Other Countries)
Paperback 978-988-19025-8-0

The modern Japanese term for artisan crafts, kogei (pronounced ‘ko-gay’) refers to a form of highly skilled artistic expression associated with specific regions and craftsmen in Japan. Kogei works typically include ceramics, textiles, lacquer, metal, glass and wood, and have at their core a concern for fine craftsmanship and the inherent qualities of the materials. Informed by centuries of tradition, these crafts have been revitalised and expanded in recent years, with emerging avant-garde tendencies in fields such as bamboo sculpture and studio glass competing with established practices and values that are deeply embedded in Japanese culture.

Drawn from the diverse collections of the Ise Foundation, Living Kogei highlights over sixty works by prominent and emerging contemporary Japanese artists—including Living National Treasures whose skills have been recognised by the Japanese government. Ranging from rustic ceramics with asymmetrical forms, to abstract glass with elegant silhouettes and sensuous colours, each work demonstrates how contemporary artisans revere and carry on the long tradition of Japanese craft, while at the same time departing from convention in search of the new.

「工芸」是現代日語詞彙,即工藝,指一種與日本特定地區及工藝家相關、講求精湛技藝的藝術表現形式。日本的工藝包括陶瓷、織物、漆器、金屬器、玻璃器和木器等以巧奪天工的手藝和材料的固有特質為核心的器物。這些蘊含數百年傳統精髓的工藝,近年得以復興與拓展。其中,竹雕塑和「工作室玻璃」等較新興而前衛的工藝領域,正與日本文化既有的實踐和價值觀爭競。

《藝流不息:伊勢文化財團藏日本當代工藝》精選展示逾六十件來自伊勢文化財團的當代工藝品。此等出自著名和新晉的當代日本工藝家──包括精湛技藝備受日本政府肯定的「人間國寶」──巧手的作品,既有造型不對稱的樸拙陶瓷,亦有線條輪廓優雅且色彩斑斕的抽象玻璃工藝品。每件作品既流露出當代工藝家對歷史悠久的日本傳統工藝的崇敬與傳承,亦體現他們如何從傳統中蛻變而有所創新。