Layering and Carving. ” Lacquer artist, Tatsuya Matsumoto”

Layering and Carving.
” Lacquer artist, Tatsuya Matsumoto”

Lacquer with calculated color contrast and layering

”When I heard lacquer, I didn’t imagine anything 3 dimensional. ”
Tatsuya Matsumoto’s work had captured Nakata’s fascination.
The artwork had been coated many times, and was carved, resulting in 3-dimensional decoration. ”I layer about about 50 to 60 coats of lacquer. Sometimes as many as 100 coats. And then I carve. So during the coating process, I have to calculate in my mind how the color is going to look after carving.”

Another thing which surprised Nakata was a graceful color which again was something that one cannot imagine from the word ”lacquer”.
”If you mixed various pigments, are you able to make any color?”
”Yes. Mostly. With technological development, you can make blue, purple, many of these colors.”
Matsumoto creates gradation by recoating the lacquer many times and carving.

Expressing the techniques learned from predecessors

We observed while he carved.
Every time Matsumoto used his chisel, a pattern of lacquer red emerged on the black painted lacquer ware.
”Take this.” Matsumoto handed Nakata the chisel, and Nakata started to carve on the black wood.
Similar curves in lacquer red appear, but it can not compare to Matsumoto’s beautiful pattern.
It was so difficult, Nakata cocked his head many times.
”Carving requires so much skill. This is really difficult.”

The color in Matsumoto’s pieces are a result of the combination of the beauty of lacquer itself and science.
And then they are completed with the skills of the artisan who carves out the patterns.
Besides making pieces of art, Matsumoto also revives cultural assets. He told us, ”I learn a lot from our predecessors.”
Matsumoto’s works are a result of the time and numerous steps he repeats. He uses traditional techniques to express something that can only come to life in the modern day era.


lacquer artist Tatsuya Matsumoto
Matsudo, Chiba