Saya Yamagishi ✿ Talismanic chintz


15 January 2024

Saya Yamagishi, My Chintz Pattern, 作品タイトル, brooch, 121 x 85 x 15 mm 作品サイズ, 2023 制作年; lacquer, earthenware, gold powder, silver powder, real pearls

Our first laurel of 2024 goes to a Japanese lacquer artist who is enchanted by the arabesque patterns of medieval manuscripts.

My chintz pattern

“my chintz pattern” is a rectangular form resembling the proportions of a manuscript, with an original arabesque pattern influenced by the arabesque and chintz patterns of the Middle East, which have long been a source of interest to me.

The arabesque pattern in jet-black is traced with gold and silver “maki-e” and black line drawing. This work is an introduction to this project. I created this work as an introduction to a dialogue between my original patterns and the designs of letters, flowers, and patterned patterns in the manuscripts that we will be facing in the future.

In the gentle light of the Japanese pearls (from Omura Bay, Nagasaki Prefecture) attached to the four corners, I put my prayers for the sea, the mountains, and all living things.

I compare what I see in Western decoration with what I see in Oriental decoration. I think that patterns come and go, and are fused together. I hope that the problems, conflicts, and sad events that are still happening around the world will be resolved and become calmer. Prayers for my patterns.

Medieval manuscripts

I have been fascinated by medieval illuminated manuscripts and have been trying to develop a new work by quietly tracing and interacting with them since 2023.

In the lines and drawings that I weave from my own memories, I find plants, trees, and flowers that I have encountered in my daily life, and I have sometimes treated them as patterns or motifs.

Among them, for example, arabesque patterns sometimes appear in my works, which are originally influenced by Middle Eastern patterns.

I have a sense in the back of my mind that the works I usually create are like talismans, which may be a bit presumptuous. Jewellery, in particular, seems to have this sense. I work with the feeling of filling a small object with fragments of the world.

I suddenly felt that people in those days might have felt that the manuscripts themselves contained a sense of prayer, or a sense of talisman, as if they were a medieval illuminated manuscript. I thought that it was the combination of such feelings, or the layers of such feelings, that made the manuscripts so gentle, generous, and beautiful.

I am an artist who creates jewellery, small sculptures and art pieces using lacquer-based techniques. Lacquer is one of the traditional techniques of Japan. I create works by carving wood, applying layers of lacquer, and incorporating traditional decorative techniques such as maki-e and raden (mother-of-pearl inlay). My major works include “Plant Collecting” (2013-), in which I collect imaginary plants from my imagination as if they were specimens, and “Wearing Scenery” (2015-), jewellery depicting Japanese scenes in a painterly manner.

Ishikawa Prefecture

Ishikawa Prefecture is famous for its lacquerware production areas of Wajima, Yamanaka, and Kanazawa. The recent Noto Peninsula earthquake (M7.6) on January 1, 2024, caused significant damage, especially in Wajima City, and the survival of the people engaged in the industry and their culture is in jeopardy. As someone who also works with lacquer, I wish for the peace of the people living in the area as well as thinking about what I can do for them now.

About Saya Yamagishi

I graduated from Kanazawa College of Art in 2016 and studied lacquer art at the university. I live and work in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. My works have been shown at exhibitions in Japan and abroad. Follow @_sayayamagishi

〈作品「my chintz pattern」について 〉
「my chintz pattern」は写本のプロポーションのような長方形の形態に、以前より興味憧れのある中東の、唐草、更紗模様に影響を受けたオリジナルの唐草紋様をのせた作品。


〈写本と私 〉


主な作品には、私の中から生まれた架空の植物を標本のようにコレクションしてゆく作品群「plant collecting」(2013-)や、日本の情景を絵画的に描いたジュエリー「景色を纏う」(2015-)などがある。



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