Inro by Unryuan Kitamura Tatsuo. Image courtesy of Bonhams London
Contemporary lacquer master Unryuan Kitamura Tatsuo is making a serious mark on the secondary market. Early works by this artist, internationally represented by LKG, have achieved remarkable results at London auctions: a small shodana reaching AUD$ 94,260 in May 2013 and an early togidashi inro reaching the astounding sum of AUD$90,911 in November 2014. Congratulations must go to the many collectors of Unryuan’s works in Australia who recognized the quality of this work well before its international repute. LKG currently has available a superb inro featuring Unryuan’s recently perfected unique shell inlay technique.
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2014 also saw Unryuan’s work enter the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Donated by Melbourne collector and philanthropist Pauline Gandel, the work, a Rinpa-inspired suzuribako (inkstone box) featuring the artist’s latest techniques, will go on display next year as part of the centenary celebrations of the opening of the Asian galleries at the Met.