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Tiered box

Tiered box

  • Place of origin:

    Tokyo (made)

  • Date:

    2004 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Murose, Kazumi, born 1950 (maker)

  • Museum number:

    FE.318:1 to 5-2005

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Murose Kazumi (born 1950) is a leading figure in the world of contemporary Japanese lacquer. The son of a lacquer artist and a student at Tokyo University of Arts of the legendary Matsuda Gonroku (1896-1986), he is active both as an individual maker and as a conservator of historical lacquer artefacts. He first visited the V&A in the early 1990s when he was conducting a survey into the condition of lacquer collections in European museums. Since then he has given courses in lacquer cleaning at the V&A and has also taught staff from the Museum's Conservation Department at his studio in Tokyo. For two weeks in July 1995 he gave a series of demonstrations at the V&A on the techniques of maki-e ('sprinkled picture') decoration, the discipline in which he specialises. This was part of the education programme of the exhibition, 'Japanese Studio Crafts: Tradition and the Avant-Garde', held that summer. Having long sought to acquire an example of his work, the V&A was eventually able to purchase this supremely elegant tiered food box. With its striking decoration - the apparent simplicity of which belies the very exacting series of processes used in its making - this work represents an important new departure for Murose. 'Now that I have spent thirty years proving myself as a creator of pictorial designs,' he explained, 'I can now move on and embrace abstraction.' Murose was designated an Important Intangible Cultural Property (Living National Treasure) in 2008.

Place of Origin

Tokyo (made)


2004 (made)


Murose, Kazumi, born 1950 (maker)


Height: 22.0 cm, Width: 21.3 cm, Depth: 21.3 cm

Descriptive line

Tiered food box, black lacquer on wood with striped maki-e ('sprinkled picture') decoration, by Murose Kazumi (1950-), 2004


East Asia Collection

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