Collection Online
patinated bronze, silver leaf
(a-b) 4.8 × 4.3 × 4.3 cm (overall)
Place/s of Execution
incised in base c.: 2011 Hatakeyama
Accession Number
Asian Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, NGV Asian Art Acquisition Fund, 2011
© Koji Hatakeyama
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
The mastery of Japanese metal craft dates from the third century BC when artisans began working with and becoming highly knowledgeable of the properties of iron, copper, gold, silver and numerous other metals. Historically Japan had a plentiful supply of copper that was used in the form of alloys, mainly bronze. This led to an established tradition of cast form objects produced for ritual ceremonies as well as items of daily use for the ruling classes. The cast bronze box by Hatakeyama Koji displays this tradition in a contemporary context with its exquisitely green oxidised patinated surface reminiscent of an ancient Buddhist reliquary or temple bells. When opened the silver leafed interior creates a striking contract to the oxidised exterior and emphasises the traditional Japanese aesthetics of wabi, sabi and the beauty found in rustic antiquity.