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Artist of the Month
January 2018

Artist of the Month

Yukito Nishinaka

As Glass Breaks, So People Die. Nothing is Eternal, so Live the Moment. - Nishinaka 

Inspired by the traditional Japanese restoration technique for ceramic tea bowls, Yukito Nishinaka creates glass sculptures emphasizing the Japanese philosophy of beauty encouraging harmony with imperfection. Nishinaka is represented by Tansey Contemporary, Denver, Colorado, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Click on each photo to the right for a full picture.

Yukito Nishinaka

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

My YOBITSUGI Glass series is inspired by the traditional Japanese restoration technique for ceramic tea bowls. Broken pieces are joined back together with URUSHI lacquer toned with gold dust, emphasizing the cracks as a beautiful decorative feature, rather than hidden repair work.

It was the samurai and their Tea Masters in the Edo period who first perceived the potential for beauty in the cracks and devised this special repairing technique. The samurai enjoyed tea ceremonies between their battles, to reach a state of Zen, and used YOBITSUGI tea bowls with the cracks serving as a metaphor for death and rebirth.

The aesthetics of this tradition have continued for over 400 years and to this day YOBITSUGI restored tea bowls are valued as Japanese national treasures, celebrating beauty in imperfection. I continue this tradition with a new interpretation of YOBITSUGI in my glass works to emphasize the Japanese philosophy of beauty and to encourage harmony with imperfection. I hope you can see the pulsing beauty in the rush of the vein of the vessel cracks.

About Yukito Nishinaka

Born in Wakayama prefecture, Japan, in 1964, Yukito Nishinaka graduated from Hoshi University of Pharmacy in Tokyo in 1988. His first encounter with glass works was at a glass studio he walked into by chance while traveling. “The glass was moving around as if the Earth Energy was woken up. As it was a life-form glowing lights with freely changing shapes and forms. I was stunned to see the glass works,” he explained.

“I could not resist myself. I needed to express the Energy of Life and its lively action of the energy in glass works, so next day I ran into a glass factory in Tokyo.” He spent two years working for Kagami Crystal Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, then felt the need to explore his identity further outside of Japan. He entered the California College of the Arts in Oakland, where he studied sculpture and glass art from 1991 to 1994. Afterwards, he returned to Japan where he became a teaching assistant, first at Toyama City Institute of Glass Art, then at the Niijima Glass Art Center in Tokyo. In 1998, he established his own studio in Chiba, Japan, where he works today.

His work is in the permanent collections of Barclays, Tokyo; Fundacion Centro Nacional del Vidrio, Segovia, Spain; DAIICHI Museum, Nagoya, Japan; Toyama Glass Art Museum; Joryuji Temple, Tokyo, and in numerous other corporations, foundation and city offices throughout Japan.

Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Tansey Contemporary, Denver, CO, and Santa Fe, NM, for providing the Artist of the Month.

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The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.