" Kai-roun ~Dignity~ ” 2003 Graduation work / Mori award


I started doll making by being inspired by one doll maker. His creation had this charm that grabs people's heart. I remember feeling the desire to make art that like his. As I worked on the doll making, the senses that developed through the experience of being bullied in early days and being careful trying to fit into the surrounding connected through the expressive medium of doll-making and it made me feel better.

I feel the origin of my creative roots lies here, but one experience and meeting Urushi changed the way I approach the doll making, which was just for fun at the time.


When I was a student, I spent one month traveling around Tibet. One day, I found a small cage at the back of the dinning place where I had lunch. Inside the cage I saw chickens eating food. Despite the fact that they are destined to be processed for food, their eyes looked as if they were filled with full of energy to live, to me. We live each day because of their sacrifice of lives, but how many of us recognize and appreciate when we eat our meals? When I realised that both me and the chicken in front of me are connected with same life, I couldn't help but respect chickens that try hard to live.


To express my gratitude for making me realise the preciousness of lives, I wanted to make this feeling into an artwork. From that moment, my statue making had started. And when I experienced the joy that I get from people appreciating and being moved by my work, I felt I found the aim and meaning in the art creation.  Every life has so much amazingness and teaching within. The themes for my art is to extract each of them one by one, and make them into statues.


Why I call my statues “Guzou” is because the meaning of “Idolisation” the word contains fits perfect into my art work theme. Also, the reason why I use Urushi is because I am convinced beyond doubt that it is the perfect material for my art theme.

Urushi is collected drop by drop, by using specialised tools, making scratches on the tree surface many times. Urushi is nothing but a life the nature created and as a material to make my artworks, I am convinced beyond doubt that it is a perfect fit and I see the new potential in my “Guzou” expression.

My “Guzou” theme and the mystical quality Urushi posseses. When these two are combined together I believe that I can create new “Guzou” that is yet to be seen. And to keep passing Urushi culture to the future, I want as many people as I can reach to know the beauty and the potential of Urushi as an expressive material.    


Cage of the dining room back (In Tibet  2002)
Cage of the dining room back (In Tibet 2002)