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Thomsen Gallery in the Madison Avenue Gallery Walk

Lacquer Works by Yoshio Okada and Screens by Kyoko Ibe at Thomsen Gallery, 9 East 63rd Street 

Yoshio Okada is recognized worldwide for his brilliance in harnessing the traditional Japanese craft of lacquer to contemporary modes of visual expression. “Lacquer Works by Yoshio Okada” is centered around two of his most innovative series: “Celestial Phenomena” and “Jellyfish,” each of them comprising boxes rarely more than five inches in length.

Working with recycled antique handmade ganpi paper, ink and minerals, Kyoko Ibe creates large-scale dynamic designs that, in her words “offer our ancestors a new lease of life in the present.” Fashioned out of pulped and dyed paper that incorporates fragments from centuries-old notebooks, her folding screens such as Morning Glory, measuring 24 feet in width, convey multiple layers of meaning. They suggest the night sky or stormy seas, but each of them also pays tribute to the artist's belief that handmade paper from before the industrial age is far superior to its contemporary counterpart, grows ever more beautiful with the passage of the years, and exemplifies the simple virtues of earlier times.

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