Collection Online

Metacinnabar tray
(Kuroshinsha kukei moriki 黒辰砂矩形盛器)

lacquer on wood
5.8 × 30.3 × 24.6 cm
Place/s of Execution
Kamakura, Japan
inscribed in brush and red ink on base c.:
Accession Number
Asian Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of the artist, 2011
© Michiko Suganuma
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Gordon Darling Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
Physical description
This beautiful tray, which is elegant in proportion and shape, is lacquered in deep black. It has a refined elegance and simplicity. It was made as one of a pair of lacquered trays. The other tray of the pair is of the same shape and size and lacquered in vermilion. Both trays were carved from the wood from the katsura tree, which is the most valued for the carving of Kamakura-Bori (Kamakura wood carving and lacquering); Katsura resembles the magnolia tree and belongs to the family of deciduous trees found mainly in China and Japan. The artist started working on the red lacquered tray in 1975 and finished in 1977. This red tray was acquired by the NGV in 1984 after it was exhibited in the exhibition of the same year at the NGV. However, with this black lacquered tray, it took longer to make; the artist started working on it in 1975 and did not completed it until the year 2000.