Katsuto MIYAHARA (Selected from open call)
Born in Nagano Prefecture in 1970; lives and works in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Miyahara is an associate professor at the University of Tsukuba’s School of Art and Design, and a board member of Nihon Bunkazai Urushi Kyokai (Japan Association for Cultural Lacquerware Heritage). Born to a Kiso lacquerware artisan, Miyahara creates furniture, bowls, and sculptures, which he refers to as “decorative containers,” and also presents his lacquerware in the form of installations. After participating in the Aizu Urushi Art Festival in 2010, Mihara became involved with local art projects. Besides presenting work, Miyahara organizes food events using lacquerware. He also carries out research on the nokan kogei, or “off-season craft” (practiced by farmers during the winter offseason), that has taken root all across Japan, and on the forms used in nanshitsu (“soft”) culture, or craft made mainly with hands without hard tools, that utilize the local plants and trees. At KENPOKU ART 2016, Miyahara will be organizing an exhibition that features work created by rearranging reclaimed wooden building material, tools and batten at the facility of Japanese lacquerware NPO Reijunkan in Daigo, and will also be lending out lacquerware to the local people.