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  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    1987 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Nakagawa, Kiyotsugu, born 1942 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood, cryptomeria wood, herringbone parquetry

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Nakagawa works in Kyoto and has been a regular contributor to the Traditional Crafts Exhibition since 1972. He is well known for his use of 'ancient' cryptomeria (jindai sugi) - a material whose grey colour results from the timber having been submerged in water or buried in the earth over an extended period - in the creation of sophisticated geometric designs based on the natural end-grain patterning of the wood. Inspired by the effects found on traditional wooden basins and buckets, Nakagawa's work is intriguing for the way in which forms of extreme elegance and refinement are rendered through the application of techniques originating in the craft of the cooper.

Physical description

The lid is slightly arched to counteract the visual effect of the marquetry design, and the hardwood trimming has been omitted from the shorter of the upper edges to emphasize the flow of the pattern along the box's length.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


1987 (made)


Nakagawa, Kiyotsugu, born 1942 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Wood, cryptomeria wood, herringbone parquetry

Labels and date

Ancient cryptomeria with hardwood edging
Herringbone pattern
Maker's mark Kiyotsugu on base
Nakagawa Kiyotsugu

Recently a prize-winner at the Traditional Crafts Exhibition, Nakagawa Kiyotsugu has made something of speciality of working with ancient cryptomeria (jindai sugi). The extreme precision of his work can be seen in the slight arching of the lid to counteract the concave visual effect created by the herringbone pattern. []




East Asia Collection

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