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Vessel 2004

Hiroki Iwata (born 1965, Japan)

Hiroki Iwata trained originally as a jeweller and relatively recently moved to larger objects, particularly vessels. His surprising and innovative use of enamel as texturing rather than mere embellishment has established his reputation worldwide. This voluptuous slender copper vessel has a silky-smooth vibrant green enamel interior, with an altogether different approach to the outside, challenging our perceptions and expectations of enamel. Iwata has adhered small pieces of Precious Metal Clay to the vessel walls prior to the enamelling process. Once firing was complete he rubbed the outside of the vessel with a stone, removing the pieces of clay to create a roughened pitted surface in direct contrast to its glossy exterior. The surface is finally flecked with tiny pieces of bright gold foil. Like a bright pistachio nut under a bark-like husk of skin, this vessel's organic quality is emphasised by its sinuous outlines and a combination of form and surface treatment which is delightfully surprising. Iwata's approach to enamelling is in stark contrast to the traditional constrained, cellular approaches of cloisonné and champlevé. By focussing on applied decorative surface treatments he challenges the integrity of basic surface by disguising the base metal (in this instance copper) in an unexpected way.

Acquisition Details

Acquired from Katie Jones, 2005
Purchased with funds from the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland which was originated and operated 2003-2006 by the Contemporary Art Society and supported by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council.
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