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HIROSHI SUZUKI –SILVER WAVES

A dynamic exhibition of silver vessels by internationally acclaimed Japanese silversmith Hiroshi Suzuki

 At Goldsmiths’ Hall

Admission Free .....Monday February 8 to Saturday March 6, 2010

 

Earth–Reki II, 2008

 hammer raised and chased fine silver vessel

Height: 35cms Diameter: 37cms


A MAJOR EXHIBITION of stunning silver vessels at Goldsmiths’ Hall celebrates the remarkable career of contemporary silversmith Hiroshi Suzuki.  The title of the exhibition “Hiroshi Suzuki - Silver Waves” makes direct reference to the many waves, creases, rivulets, ripples and curves in the silver that are so synonymous with Hiroshi’s work.  The exhibition, which is open to the public free of charge, runs from Monday February 8 to Saturday March 6, 2010.

Aqua-Posey VII, 2008

 hammer-raised fine silver vessel

Height: 32cms Diameter: 28.5cms

Japanese born Hiroshi studied metalwork at Musashino Art University in Tokyo and then, like many foreign students, he was attracted by the high level of metalwork courses on offer in the UK.  In 1994 he moved to London to continue with his studies first at Camberwell College of Art and subsequently at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1999.   

Hiroshi specialises in hammering and chasing silver to produce large-scale decorative vessels which have been described as “a fluent expression of nature”.  Using a hammer and considerable strength he coaxes and cajoles sheets of silver into shapes successfully creating an illusion that silver is as pliable as clay.  Unusually instead of beating the metal over a cast iron stake he often forms the silver in the air.  Consequently his vessels have an effortless, organic quality which is both sensuous and full of vigour.   He says: “My work can be interpreted as the embodiment of an intuitive sense of organic abstraction, whilst alluding to functional tradition.

 Hiroshi never consciously plans a piece.  He never makes models or does preparatory drawings as he feels this process to be inhibiting and restrictive. “I have developed an intuitive relationship – it is the core of my creative process and allows me to approach my work in a highly spontaneous way while at the same time maintaining sensitivity with the material.”

 

Ayawind II, 2005

 hammer-raised and chased Britannia silver vessel

Height: 34.5cms Width: 22.5cms

In the ten years since graduating Hiroshi has taken the silversmithing world by storm and his rise to prominence has been as remarkable as his extraordinary hand-raised silver vessels.  It is not just the superlative skill of his craftsmanship but the monumental size of the majority of his pieces that makes his work so unique.  Avidly collected, he now has works in 27 major public collections across the globe including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Museum of Arts and Design, New York and the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide – a testimony to the high esteem in which his work is considered.  

Rosemary Ransome Wallis, Curator Collections at Goldsmiths’ Hall first encountered Hiroshi in 1999 following his degree show.  She said: “I was immediately struck by the dynamic presence of his work.   His subsequent success and considerable contribution to contemporary silver is that ultimately it is Hiroshi’s poetry which defines his work. Working within the Japanese tradition of the spirituality of natural elements such as wind, fire and water, Hiroshi makes these abstractions accessible to Western eyes through his sculptural approach to his vessels.” 

The range of Hiroshi’s work included in the exhibition at Goldsmiths’ Hall gives clear visual evidence of his development as a silversmith.  In his early student pieces there are subtle hints of the shape of things to come – the odd ripple and wave here and there – while more recent works show how Hiroshi has now mastered the subtleties of exploring fluidity within a form and on a surface to create vessels of great beauty and timelessness.

 

Dual-Rivulet VIII, 2006

hammer-raised, double-skinned Britannia silver vessel

Height: 18.5cms Diameter: 34cms

 

 

All Hiroshi’s pieces have names which give an indication of their inspiration for example “Aqua-Poesy VII”, and “Ayawind II”, both from the Goldsmiths’ Company’s collection,  as well as “M-Fire IV” and “Earth II” that complete the elemental theme. 

The majority of the works on exhibition are in silver, with a few early pieces in copper and other metals, however one of the main show-stoppers is a recent piece “Aqua-Poesy XI Kin” hammer-raised and chased in 22 carat gold.  The pieces have all been kindly loaned by institutions, including the Goldsmiths’ Company and private collectors, and several new works, made especially for the exhibition will be unveiled for the first time at Goldsmiths’ Hall. 

Hiroshi was recently appointed as a successor to his former professor at Musashino Art University in Tokyo – a huge honour – and now divides his time between Japan and his workshop in London.   

Hiroshi Suzuki at 50 is clearly riding high on the crest of a new silver wave!

M-Fire I, 2006

 hammer-raised fine silver vessel

Height: 26cms Diameter: 21cms

 

 
 

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Photographs courtesy of the Goldsmiths' Company
Text from Goldsmiths' Hall Press Release
 Copyright © 2007 MODERN SILVER magazine
 
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