YU#Urushiprint/Vernis de Spa (serie) 2015

9 x 14 (4 postcards, editions) 18th century imitation lacquer (Vernis de Spa) on washi paper (display as shown at CAAK&Kapo residency, Kanazawa/JP)

The loss of quality through industrial reproduction made me question if in Europe there had at any point been a desire for the (re)production of these techniques. A third stage of the project, when I developed the silk screen prints, researched the Urushi technique in Europe and Belgium more specific. One of the first places where these Urushi miscellany were becoming popular was in the small spa-city of Spa, a parallel with its origins in the Onsen (Japanese natural hotspring) region of Kaga. An inquiry into the Belgian tradition found that the brothers Dagly developed an imitation lacquer to counter the largely Asian (through Holland) dominated market of luxury containers finished with urushi. The recipe they developed I found with the help of research by Museum Für Lackkunst about the European counterweight of the material developed in the late 18th century. I prepared this recipe during my residence at CAAK & Kapo in Kanazawa, and filmed the process. This resulted in a thick paste which were used to re-print the 18th century postcards of the Japanese Tower in Brussel by E.Desaix. An example of a contraction between Japanese and Central European architectural tastes of the epoch. This allowed an introduction of material and meaning into works that visually evocated materio-historic quality, arguing for material agency.