SASAI Fumie works SASAI Fumie works SASAI Fumie works SASAI Fumie works SASAI Fumie works SASAI Fumie works SASAI Fumie works
present Associate Professor at Kyoto City University of Arts
2004-5 Artist in Residence, Chiang Mai University, Thailand
2003-4 Special Intern, Chiang Mai University, Thailand
1998 M.F.A., Kyoto City University of Arts, Kyoto
1996 B.F.A., Kyoto City University of Arts, Kyoto
1973 Born in Osaka

Solo Exhibitions

2017 Galerie an der Pinakothek der Moderne, Munchen, Germany
2015 Sasai Fumie, URUSHI - Lacque Sculptée, Mizen Fine Art, Paris
Gion Konishi, Kyoto
2013 Takashimaya Nihonbashi, Tokyo/ Takashimaya Osaka/ Takashimaya Yokohama, Kanagawa
2010 Gallery Caption, Gifu
2009 ITOSHIKI Ka-Ta-Chi (Lovely Shapes), Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi
2007 Gallery Kian, Kyoto
Gallery Enbu, Aichi
2006 Gion Konishi, Kyoto
Silver Shell, Kyobashi, Tokyo
2005 The Art Gallery, The Japan Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand (also in '04)
2003 Chiang Mai University Art Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand
2002 Tea Ceremony Room, Doujien, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi
2001 Wacoal Ginza Art Space, Tokyo
Gallery Maronie, Kyoto
1999 Exhibition Space, Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo

Group Exhibitions

2018 COLLECT, Saatchi Gallery, London, U.K (’17)
Urushi no Genzai (Japanese Lacquer at Present), Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi, Tokyo
Master Piece London, The Royal Hospital Chelsea London, U.KK('16)
Beyond Boundaries: A Future of Traditional Decorative Arts, Ginza WAKO, Tokyo('16)
2017 Designing JapanPhiladelphia Museum of Art, PA, USA
TRESOR, Messe Basel, Basel, Swiss
PAD London Art &Design, Berkeley Square, London, U.K
Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture,, Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN, USA
Art Miami, One Herald Plaza Miami, FL, USA
2016 Art Stage Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Takashimaya Charitable Trust for Art and Culture Prize, Selection Exhibition, Takashimaya Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan
Craft Arts: Innovation of “Tradition and Avant-Garde,” and the Present Day, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
Art of KOGEI, Spirit of Kyoto,, Takashimaya Kyoto, Japan
2015 Art of Laughter, The Museum of Modern Art Ibaraki
Dialogue with Materials: Contemporary Japanese Arts an Crafts, AhmeAnadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey
COLLECT, Saatchi Gallery, London, U.K
The world of Urushi and Ghost, Wajima Museum of Urushi Art, Ishikawa
PAD London Art &Design, Berkeley Square, London, U.K
Urushi Mountains, Hankyu Umeda, Osaka
Forms of Urushi, Gallery Sokyo, Kyoto
2014 URUSHI: Couleurs et formes des Laques, Japonaises contemporaines, Mizen Fine Arts, Paris
Dialogue with Materials: Contemporary Japanese Arts an Crafts, Ahmed Adnen Saygun Sanat Merkezi, Izmir, Turkey
Beyond Boundaries A Future of Traditional Decorative Arts, Ginza WAKO Hall, Tokyo
2013 Wakaranai No Susume, The Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki
2012 New Vibrance in International Woman’s Urushi Art, Tokyo, Kyoto, Fukushima
2011 Flawless, Contemporary Japanese Lacquer, Cavin Morris Gallery, NY
Japanese Modern Arts and Artists in Ibaraki, The museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki
Contemporary Kogei Art Fair, Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo
2010 Kyoto Crafts Biennale, Invited Artist Section, The Museum of Kyoto, Kyoto
2009 Contemporary Japanese Lacquer, KEIKO Gallery, MA
SOFA New York, NY
SASAI Fumie and TASHIMA Etsuko in the Flower Garden, Tsukuba Museum of Art, Ibaraki
2008 SOFA Chicago, Navy Pier Festival Hall, Chicago
My Favorite Flowers, Takashimaya Nihonbashi, Tokyo
2006 The Child, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi
2002 Selected New Artists Exhibition of Kyoto, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto
2001 The 7th International Contemporary Art Festival 2001, Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo
The 4th OKAMOTO Taro Memorial Award for Contemporary Art, OKAMOTO Taro Museum, Kanagawa
2015 Takashimaya Charitable Trust for Art and Culture Prize
The Kyoto Prefecture Cultural Prize, Encouragement Award
2014 The Best Young Artist Award by City of Kyoto
2008 The 30th Memorial Award, The Kyoto Art and Craft Artists Association Exhibition
2004 UNION Foundation for Ergo Design Culture, Overseas Training Program
2003 POLA Art Foundation, Overseas Training Program
2001 Special Award, Saga Art Competition '01
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA, USA
  • Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA
  • Guimet Museum, Paris, France
  • Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN
  • Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan
  • The Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Japan
  • The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, Japan
  • Takashimaya Historical Museum, Osaka, Japan

In Japan nurimono refers to things that are coated. The most common are things that are coated with urushi, (lacquer), a highly skilled craft in Japan for centuries.

The most common types of lacquer surfaces are those that are highly polished with a glossy sheen, or matt surfaces which have a soft appearance with a slight luster. These finished textures express the character of the piece as well as the personality and tastes of the artist. I prefer the matt surface of lacquer and a weight of the object which is comfortable to handle, because I want people to desire to touch them and enjoy and appreciate the inherent tactile qualities of the lacquer surface.

I create pieces that are based on forms that I believe have endearing universal appeal, such as flowers, fruit or children. I use the matt surfaces and soft forms to express tenderness in order to elicit these feelings from other people. For the basic forms I use an ancient Japanese technique known as kanshitsu, which in my forms is dry lacquer applied to hemp cloth and styrofoam.

I have pursued this concept for a very long time. However, in the spring of 2014 something new emerged in my work that was inspired by the crisp folds and layers of traditional Japanese kimono.

Subsequently I had opportunities to collaborate with artists in other genres and media, such as bamboo, porcelain, and other lacquer decorations such as makie and kirikane, which I exhibited in Tokyo in the fall of 2014. This experience was very exciting for me because out of those collaborations I developed unexpected shapes with new expressions. For this new exhibition at Mizen Gallery in Paris, I have included works that I produced in collaboration with the bamboo artist, Tanabe Shouchiku.

While I will continue pursuing my original concept of using endearing forms, I also want to explore these new possibilities in contributing to the new world of lacquer art.