photo: SAIKI Taku

Dragon Wheel

ArtistNAKAMURA Tetsuya
Material/ TechniqueFRP, polyurethane paint
Size/ DurationH200×W40×D200cm
Copyright Notice© NAKAMURA Tetsuya
Year of acquisition/ donation2006
DescriptionBorn in Chiba, Japan in 1968. Lives and works in Nagano.

Since completing the graduate course in Japanese lacquer at Tokyo University of the Arts, Nakamura Tetsuya has reinterpreted the traditional materials and techniques of lacquer art. Using his own methods of applying lacquer and creating form, he undertakes formative explorations that cut across genres. He has gilded discarded trophies, applied gold foil to stuffed sea turtles, and covered an immense horse sculpture entirely with mother-of-pearl, endeavoring in each case to investigate the ‘value’ of symbols of authority or honor. In recent years he has moved to large-scale productions using polyurethane paint on fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) in exploring the theme, ‘speed.’ Based on his concept, ‘the world’s fastest vehicle,’ he has created form that ‘looks fast.’

Nakamura takes symbols of ‘value’ painted on the surface of objects and makes them swagger with importance in spaces stripped down to bare reality. His principal theme, ‘speed,’ is a value symbolic of our times. Based on the concept, ‘the world’s fastest vehicle,’ he has created form that ‘looks fast’ and named the works of this series “Replica.” The work "Dragon Wheel" was born from Nakamura’s investigation of the appearance of speed. It gives autonomous life to the flame patterns that are painted on model cars as a pattern that ‘looks fast.’ Out of the conflict set up between the work’s form – its rhythm and directionality as a 3D rendering of a two-dimensional flame pattern – and the artist’s act of painting such a form, a bizarre creation has emerged. As we stand before the strange object, the pattern of familiar ‘value’ begins to waver within us.