うるしワークショップ in カンボジアWorkshop on Urushi Arts in Cambodia

July 11, 2018






As part of a project focusing on cultural exchange through “Urushi” in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, a silver lacquering workshop and an art education lecture on Japanese lacquering techniques taught at Tokyo University of the Arts (Tokyo Geidai) took place at the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on May 1 and 2, 2018.

From our school, Professor Norihiko Ogura from the Urushi Arts , two teaching staff attended and the 18 students participating from RUFA were mainly students of oil painting.

In the workshop, Hiramakie which is a traditional technique in Japanese lacquer work was carried out using Japanese materials and designs of the participants own conception. The students at RUFA were not afraid to try Urushi , though they had no prior experience of it, and drew thin neat lines with their brushes. The students’ designs were varied and they a lot from one another during the creative process. There were concerns about the hardening of Urushi in an environment more equatorially hot and humid than Japan but it caused no problems.

In a lecture regarding the study and characteristics of Japanese lacquer work an introduction was given to our lacquer work educative process. Lacquer work pieces produced by our students and staff were displayed to them as part of a presentation given.

Finally, when were asked what they thought about their experience of Japanese Urushi, one said “We didn’t really know what to expect as it was our first time with the process but once it was done, I felt that I partially understood how I could have done it better.” We think that through this project, we were able to pass on, even if just a little, the characteristics and possibilities of working with the Urushi material.

Presently, RUFA offers no programs in Japanese lacquer art but we hope that the students of Cambodia () would develop an interest in the Urushi arts and that this workshop may lead to future exchange of Urushi art culture.