OGATA Collection
March 29 – April 30, 2023


OGATA presents NUNOGI, a new collection of vessels and trays in lacquered wood with a distinctive texture. With Japanese lacquer, we are often used to seeing perfectly polished craftsmanship with a black or vermillion sheen. There is no trace of these shiny hues in the bowls, cups and trays presented here. Although their delicate contours are perfectly outlined, they have a matt finish and a much rougher texture. In contrast to the famous smooth surface of Japanese lacquer, OGATA opposes this beauty with a proposal of imperfection. The imperfection here is the result of the desire to make all the intermediate stages of the long process of hand lacquering visible on the same surface.

In the traditional manufacturing process of a lacquered object, the wooden vessel is first crafted on a wood lathe. The process then continues with applying successive layers of lacquer and then the surface is partially covered with a linen cloth to reinforce the strength of the material. Finally, it is coated again with another lacquer base. Once a solid, even surface is achieved, multiple layers of lacquer are applied and polished to a perfectly smooth surface with a characteristic sheen, which is then decorated if necessary. The wooden base and the linen fabric fade away to reveal the perfection of the polished lacquer. With the NUNOGI collection, OGATA dresses the lacquer. All the intermediate stages of the traditional lacquer process can be seen and felt: the lightness and warmth of the wood can be felt; the partially revealed fabric offers a play of textures, and the matt lacquer finish gives the object its identity and durability. Following the principles of the OGATA Collection, NUNOGI is handmade, with an intention of using natural materials in a harmonious and sustainable way.