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A Patchwork of Memories Lacquer x Leather Art by Yoko Ichikawa A solo exhibition 30.7 - 24.8.2022

Curated and presented by The Gallery by SOIL

Photo credit: Sei Katori


Yoko ICHIKAWA was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1985. She studied at the Kyoto City University of Arts and graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees. After graduating in 2011, she has been engaged in lacquer creation in Kyoto, specializing in lacquer-leather techniques.

Since ancient times, people have combined leather and different materials to create objects or utensils, which coincides with the long-standing lacquer art. The two materials, lacquer and leather, connect the artist’s emotions. Yoko Ichikawa tries to pass on her grandmother’s needlework skills and the academy’s rigorous lacquer tradition, colliding with her personal life. Through hand sewing and kneading, she reinterprets lacquer-leather craftsmanship with her unique aesthetics. She lightly tones the layers of lacquer to reveal the texture of the leather, trying to combine lacquer and leather to present a dialogue between herself and tradition.

“I was inspired by my grandmother when she taught me various handicrafts and learned about the traditional techniques. I get to know the cultural aspect of the craft and its interrelationship with history, which is very enlightening. This is also worth noting that the technique of applying lacquer to leather seems to originate from China. In Japanese, “Shippi” means “lacquered leather”. This technique was developed as early as the Nara period. Originally, the hides were shaped with wooden moulds and heavily covered by layers of lacquer. This was commonly seen in making boxes.

I want to reinterpret this technique, creating pieces combined with hand sewing, trying to find a harmony between lacquer, leather and myself. I intend to keep the blemishes and wrinkles from the process of making to enhance the character of the work and the texture of the leather. Like kintsugi repairing technique, it embraces the beauty of flaws and imperfection.”



自古以來,人類已把皮革與不同物料併湊,縫紉出物件或器具,與源遠流長的漆藝不謀而合,漆和皮革這兩種材質連結了藝術家的情感,從作品中也反映了她對生命的看法。 市川陽子嘗試傳承祖母的針線活手藝和學院嚴謹的漆工藝傳統,與其個人生活碰撞。透過手縫和揉捏具溫度的手法,以她獨特的美學重新演繹漆皮工藝。她輕調漆的層次以突顯出皮革的肌理,嘗試結合漆與皮革呈現自身與傳統的對話。

「小時候祖母教我造的手工藝, 啟發了我對傳統技藝的興趣,也讓我認識到悠久的工藝與歷史其實息息相關,而且當中蘊含智慧。在皮革上塗漆的技術似乎在中國已經存在了很長時間,我們可以想像當中的文化關係,也是非常有趣。日本語「Shippi」即「漆皮」技術,早在奈良時代已見有。最初是利用木模把生皮成型並塗上厚漆,大多用於製作盒子。

我希望重新演譯這技術,結合手工縫紉來創作作品,嘗試協調漆、皮革和我自己。 我保留了製作過程中產生的瑕疵和皺紋,來提升作品的個性以及皮革面料的肌理。猶如金繼這種修補技術般,擁抱缺陷和不完整的美。 」

Pocket 3 - Vase


Natural Lacquer, cowhide, linen thread, fine clay, pigment

L150mm x W160mm x D200mm


Mini leather pebble - 6/6


Natural Lacquer, cowhide, linen thread, fine clay, pigment

L85 x W60 x H35 mm


Rectangular Teaware Box - 1


Natural Lacquer, cowhide, linen thread, fine clay

L230 x W230 x H190 mm


Rectangular Serving Tray - 4


Natural Lacquer, cowhide, fine clay

L170 x W120 x H45 mm


Octagonal-shaped Lidded Box


Natural lacquer, deerhide, wood, walnut shell, charcoal

(Add drawing by Satoshi SOMEYA)

L120 x W115 x H60 mm



The Gallery by SOIL


Shop H, G/F Hollywood Building

186 Hollywood Road (Entrance at Upper Station Street)

Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Opening Hours:

12nn - 6pm, Tuesday-Friday

12nn - 6:30pm, Saturday-Sunday

Off on Monday and public holidays

Enquiry: 2217 9288 / 9559 3908


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