Takeshi IGAWA

Bio | Works | Exhibitions

Takeshi Igawa, born in 1980, is one of the leading exponents of the contemporary new wave related to Japanese lacquer. Although he remains in terms of colour tones within the framework of tradition (mainly red and black), the latter is distorted in the realisation of forms, which are mainly abstract and often monumental.


Takeshi Igawa’s sculptures depart from immediate comprehension. His works are characterised by mysterious shadows, unexpected points of light, deep and sensual reflections, vast planes of black and delicate curves. His research is based on the concept of infinity, interpreted through the elements of sky and sea, the impenetrable darkness of black and the natural lustre of lacquer. The technique he favours is kanshitsu, a method that involves applying lacquer over a mould of fabric, allowing the artist to express himself in complete freedom. What distinguishes Igawa’s mastery is the physical and spiritual expression of the elements of nature.


“I do not intend to create meaningful shapes that convey my messages. I always think about expressing the beauty of lacquer as a material. Unlike other materials used for three-dimensional art objects, lacquer cannot produce a solid form because it is only liquid. However, lacquer is a unique coating or painting material, and when applied to different shapes it produces distinctly different aspects. […] If the lines and surfaces harmonise perfectly, I feel I have fully expressed the beauty of lacquer as a material”.


Winner 32nd Takashimaya Art Award  2021
Short-listed Loewe Craft Prize 2017
Grand Prix, 3 Kogei Triennale Kanazawa 2016


Minneapolis Institute of Arts, USA
JAL International Terminal Lounge, Haneda Airport, Tokyo, Japan
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Kyoto, Japan