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Hiroto Rakusho

Field:
Master of precious-metal leafing
Location:
Kyoto city, Kyoto

The Universe of Hiroto Rakusho

A prolific artist, the works of Hiroto Rakusho have various contrasts; yin and yang, stillness and movement, a world of light and darkness, sometimes hazy, sometimes crisp and clear. You could say his works have color, or you argue just the opposite. The way he plays with the light source of his color. He wields the faint, flickering light, amplifies it, and in the process draws the universe into his works. That is his artwork. “Having been born in Nishijin, Kyoto, I believe I was fated to take up this line of work. I was born into a world of gold and silver, Japanese washi paper and Indian ink, a world where polished crafts and beauty were taken to the absolute limit. I was surrounded by all of these. I tried every so often to leave it all behind, but every time the “Nishijin” in me grew and expanded. Given my location in Nishijin, where the formal beauty of Ogata Korin has for so long held sway, it was a fateful moment for me when I reproduced “Wind and Thunder Gods” (Fujin Raijin) by Towaraya Sotatsu, the founder the Rimpa style.”
Hiroto Rakusho

Hiroto Rakusho

Master of precious-metal leafing
Hiroto Rakusho
Born in Kyoto in 1962, Hiroto Rakusho originally studied under his father, Jisaku Nishiyama, winner of the City of Kyoto Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution to Traditional Handicrafts. In 1997, Rakusho himself was certified by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as a Master of Traditional Handicrafts. Working to broaden the appeal of metal leaf design as an art form, he has collaborated with artists of various genres both in Japan and abroad. A prolific artist, since 2005, he has held several solo shows, in Kyoto, Paris, New York,and Kuwait. Rakusho uses his unique expertise, working with the Digital Archive Project, to preserve ancient precious cultural artifacts stored in Kyoto’s museums, shrines and temples. These skills have taken him to museums overseas and have led to famous Japanese artworks being returned home to Kyoto for public viewing. Hiroto is definitely an icon to demonstrate Japan's high quality culture and art. His challenges based on his unique creativity and technology keep encouraging the traditional industries and successors.

A Collaboration between Gold and Silver

Metallic leaf is created by taking a malleable metal such as gold, silver, platinum, or brass and beating it to form a thin membrane. When gold or silver leaf is combined with other materials such as washi (handmade Japanese paper) or silk, it can be used to decorate costumes, interior goods, and fashion accessories. It is also employed in the restoration of items of historical and cultural significance.Metallic leaf plays an especially important role in the manufacture of obi and kimono. For this reason, this precious material has an intimate connection to Kyoto's Nishijin district, which for more than 400 years has been the center of the city's silk-weaving and dyeing industry. Here the ingenious techniques surrounding the production and use of gold and silver leaf have been handed down from generation to generation of craftsmen.The concept behind 'A Collaboration between Gold and Silver' is what the artist terms 'neo-shitsurai', shitsurai referring to a tea ceremony setting, where the decorations which greet the guests have been carefully chosen for their seasonal nuances.
Hiroto Rakusho

Recent activities

  • Hiroto Rakusho "The memory of the moon"

    2015 Dec. 2nd (Wed.) - 8th (Tue.)

    Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi 6th floor Art salon

Hiroto Rakusho
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