Artist's Intro

Akane Yamamoto

AsagaoStardustBamboo Leaf Boat


The aspects of nature in Japan along with the classics of Japanese literature, especially, the Tale of Genji are inspirations for creating the imagery in my work. I hope that my Kirikane-glass works featuring aesthetic sense and sensitiveness of Japan, are to be dispatched to the world from Kyoto, the center of traditional Japanese arts.”

The Kirikane technique employs gold or silver foil cut into thin strips or minute triangular or square pieces, which are laid on designs painted in with glue. The designs consist of straight or curved lines, a wavy vertical stripe pattern (tate-waku), or small flowers. Kirikane was imported from China during the T’ang dynasty (618–907). The earliest extant examples are the wooden Shi Tenno (“Four Guardian Gods”) of the Kon-do, Horyu Temple near Nara, thought to be works of the late Asuka (552–645) or early Hakuho (645–724) period. However, it was from the Late Heian period (897–1185) that this technique flourished. The paintings of the Juni-ten (“Twelve Guardian Gods”) in the Kyoogokoku Temple, Kyoto, are regarded as typical examples. The original technique of Kirikane in Western art can be seen as far back as the Hellenistic ‘Sandwich gold-glass bowl’ (British Museum Collection, 270-200BC, Canosa, Puglia, Italy). This bowl shows a fine floral design in gold leaf sandwiched between two layers of colourless (clear) glass.