現代の木工藝の展開 ―現代から未来へ―



木工藝の継承はまず手技の継承として始まるが、師から弟子へという形での継承が不可能になりつつある現代にあって、木工の公的教育機関の不在は大きな障害である。そこで昨年から工房に5名の若手作家を集め研究会を始めた。技の練磨とともに、私たちは何を美しきもの、めでたきものと捉えてきたかという日本の美の伝統を伝え、若い木工藝作家の誕生を願ってのことである。創意の連なりこそが伝統であり、歴史と切り離された「トレンド」ではなく、連綿と続く歴史の最先端としての「モダン」を目指し、 工藝の心の継承に努めている。

須田 賢司


The Development of Contemporary Woodwork
—From the Present to the Future

I was born into a woodworking family, the third generation to work in this field after my grandfather, Sogetsu, and my father, Sosui. I am very aware of the long history of woodworking in Japan that lies behind me andcontinue to show my works of fine woodwork mainly through the Japan Traditional Kogei: Art Crafts Exhibition.

As the name suggests, the Japan Traditional Kogei: Art Crafts Exhibition focuses on traditional crafts, but while the works are limited to various forms of work, it provides a venue where people can present ‘craftwork as a form of artistic expression’. I was born the same year that this exhibition was first established and during my life I have made an effort to move away from ‘cabinetmaking’ and its role in society as a form of manufacture, choosing instead to strive to become independent as an ‘artist’. Using traditional techniques and an orthodox stance towards kogei (art crafts), I aim to use kogei as a form of expression to create artistic works. My motto is ‘Seiga’, ‘sei’ meaning ‘purity’ and ‘ga’ elegance, and I try to express this through works possessing a pure, refined elegance. The word ‘Ga’ also possesses a nuance of being ‘proper’, standing in contrast to ‘common’. I believe that this is the true meaning of ‘kogei’ and I use the Japanese term ‘kogei’ for my work to show my determination to follow the orthodox tradition.

The passing down of woodworking traditions begins with the transmission of techniques, but today, when it is becoming increasingly difficult for these to be transmitted directly from master to apprentice, I feel the absence of a government-run educational facility is a great handicap. In order to help overcome this, beginning last year, I have invited five young craftsmen to come to my workshop to participate in a study group. In addition to the refinement of techniques, I also teach them the Japanese traditions of beauty, of what is considered beautiful or auspicious, in an effort to cultivate new fine woodworkers. The continuation of creativity is the true essence of tradition, it has nothing to do with mere ‘trends’ that are divorced from history, and I aim for a ‘modernity’ that stands at the summit of the accumulation of history, that is the heart of ‘kogei’ that I wish to pass on.

SUDA Kenji