Handcrafted Metal Works by Studio Tint
October 5-12, 2018
Nalata Nalata is excited to announce Forging Shadows, the first US exhibition of Takayoshi Narita of Studio Tint. To encounter Takayoshi Narita’s work is to find oneself questioning how poetry can be forged from the prosaic.
Iron and steel, both dense, hard bodied materials, instill heavy, industrial associations in our minds. We don’t imagine the delicate edges that can be hammered from an elemental block. Nor do we question the overwhelmingly uniform textures these materials bear in the forms they are so often presented to us in. Yet, iron can be delicate and soft; steel: light and graceful; perhaps most surprising, both these materials can bear the unique marks of an artisan’s hand.
Viewing Narita-san’s collection reveals the depth that can be contained in an object millimeters thin, that grazes the ceiling of potential locked inside such raw material.
Takayoshi Narita was born in Hokkaido in 1969. His objects take on fluid shapes, seamlessly transitioning from slender handles to yawning basins. At times their forms are almost edgeless. Imagining that his pieces were once thick iron rods is almost impossible. Envisioning the process and energy that went into their promethean creation is even more so. Upon looking closer, they do bear scars of their transformation. Like natural rock formations, deep and shadowy textures give some indication to the sheer number of times the material has been affected by heat and hammering. The result, a surface so varied it can only be likened to the terrain of another planet.
It may come as little surprise that before he began working metal some 20 years ago, Narita-san had trained as a classical oil painter. Since the transition his journey has been persistent and focused. He crafts a relatively narrow array of items by himself, inside a workshop he built in the mountains of Minakami in Gunma Prefecture. His most renowned item, and the genesis of his craft, is a hammered frying pan, meant to be seasoned and changed by everyday use.
Cutlery Box, an exclusive Takayoshi Narita x Nalata Nalata collaboration, comes in two materials, wrought-iron and stainless steel. The box was designed with the intention of creating large uninterrupted planes of texture. The scale is determined to showcase the beauty of Narita-san’s materials and process, while also serving as a highly functional storage container that acquires new marks and pagination with time and use. For the wrought-iron edition, urushi lacquer was incorporated in the hammering process, giving the metal a saturated tone and varied texture.
Takayoshi Narita’s use of wrought-iron sets his work apart from cast iron. The hand forging process is visible through all of his pieces in the form of surface marks acquired from his tools, and distinct coloration where the iron cooled in innumerable layers after each firing – most noticeably in pieces with uninterrupted edges and corners forged of one piece of metal.