SOMEYA Satoshi

SOMEYA Satoshi lacquer SOMEYA Satoshi lacquer SOMEYA Satoshi lacquer SOMEYA Satoshi lacquer SOMEYA Satoshi lacquer SOMEYA Satoshi lacquer

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Creating a subtle harmony between traditional lacquer and modern pop art, Someya Satoshi is garnering attention as a young artist in the field of figurative sculpture. In the present day, the border between crafts and fine art has become blurred, and more and more artists are attempting to express themselves using the materials of modern life. Yet despite this, some people still use lacquer. Compared to other materials, it is difficult, and especially very slow to work with , so why use it? When this question was put to Someya Satoshi, he answered simply: “If I didn’t find the result attractive, I probably wouldn’t use lacquer.” While, if engaged only on the surface level, Someya’s creations are certainly pleasing to the eye, careful observation will reveal greater depths. In material terms, Someya unites playful decoration with the traditional artistry and craft of lacquer, just as conceptually he unites pop culture with ancient aesthetics (many of Someya’s works are representative of a generation raised on animation).

Using a technique called Dakkanshitsu-- a traditional technique widely used in the creation of Buddha statues which allows great freedom in creating form--he creates the main part of the figure this is. First a mold in the desired shape is created, and hemp cloth is attached to the surface, and layers of lacquer are applied until it is strong, finally, the mold is removed.

Someya’s pieces are decorated, in what appears to be an almost casual manner, with mother-of-pearl, foil, graffiti, and marks like tattoos, however, in the course of observing his artwork; the combination of the striking decorations with the unique material of lacquer, the viewer will find themselves moving from interest to fascination. To employ advanced techniques without making a show of virtuosity is a hallmark of Japan’s traditional craft culture. Someya’s works, though they may appear to be of a different genre, follow this spirit. While on the surface they may appear to be simply ‘attractive’, beneath this is a high level of skill and a powerful sensibility, rooting his works in the strong traditions of this part of Japanese culture.


2014 Ph.D. Kyoto City University of Arts
2008 M.F.A. Kyoto City University of Arts
2007 B.F.A., Kyoto City University of Arts
1990-1984 Live in Indonesia

Solo Exhibitions

2014 Masticated Decoration II, Imura Art, Tokyo (’13)
2011 Heritage of S Exhibition, Gallery Keifu, Kyoto
2009 OKEMONO, Imura Art Gallery, Kyoto
2008 Heritage of S, Gallery KEIFU, Kyoto

Group Exhibitions

2015 10th Tokyo Art Fair 2015, Tokyo
Dialogue with Materials: Contemporary Japanese Arts an Crafts, Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey
2014 Dialogue with Materials: Contemporary Japanese Arts an Crafts, Ahmed Adnen Saygun Sanat Merkezi, Izmir, Turkey
2012 Kyoto Arts and Crafts Biennale, The Museum of Kyoto, Kyoto
2011 SIPANGU, Takashimaya, Tokyo and Osaka
Pop Pop Pop, The museum of Modern Art, Yakayama, Yakayama
ZIPANG, Nihonbashi Takashimaya, Osaka Takashimaya, Kyoto Takashimaya
The New Form of Japanese Laquer, Itami Craft Center, Hyogo
Aizu Urushi Festival, Yamatogawa Shuzo Brewery, Fukushima
2010 Art Osaka
Echigo Tsumari Art Field, 2010
UEBA Kasumi x SOMEYA Satoshi, Gallery Keifu, Kyoto
2009 The Power of Decoration – A View Point on Contemporary Kogei, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Contemporary Japanese Lacquer, KEIKO Gallery, MA
SOFA New York
s/s PROJECT. 001, Canary Production Gallery, Kyoto
From Home to the Museum: Tanaka Tsuneko, The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama
2008 SOFA Chicago
2007 ART RAINBOW PROJECT, Kunsthalle Rostock, Germany
2006 ANDO×SOMEYA Exhibition, Ishida Taiseisya Hall, Kyoto


2009 Mayer’s Award, Kyoto University of Arts Annual Exhibition


Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN
Kyoto City University of Arts, Kyoto
The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama
Hotel Okura Macau, Macau, China
Fukushima Museum, Fukushima