Tradition of Excellence: Japanese techniques in contemporary metal arts
Artwork images are courtesy of Penland Gallery. All artwork photography by Brady Connelly, Tamara Tsurkan, and Ben Simmons. Installation images are courtsey of Metal Museum.
Curated by metalsmith Hiroko Yamada, this exhibition brings together twenty-six artists: six American and twenty Japanese, three of whom have received the highest honor to be designated as Japanese Living National Treasures. The artists’ work represents a broad view; based in historical techniques and approaches, they range from strictly adhering to tradition to reinventing or reinterpreting tradition through a contemporary practice.
The works in the exhibition are labeled using Japanese terminology for the techniques used. Although most viewers will be unfamiliar with words such as nunome zogan, mokume-gane, kinkeshi, and shakudo, the terms honor the knowledge and training of these highly skilled artists. Many of these techniques and materials, because of their non-Western roots, are markedly different than those used in contemporary metal work in the United States. This exhibition is quite remarkable in that respect, as well as for the sheer beauty of the works themselves.
Ongoing Exhibition & Programming Support
Windgate Charitable Foundation
Hyde Family Foundation
Ongoing Operational Support
Tennessee Arts Commission