Okeei was founded by Edo-period yui-oke craftsman Shinemon Kawamata in 1887 at Fukugawa, a port town that once thrived from lumber distribution. Now the only yui-oke workshop in Tokyo, Okeei is helmed by Eifu Kawamata, whose painstaking craftsmanship is reminiscent of Shinemon’s legacy. As a fourth-generation yui-oke master, Eifu challenges the hundred-year-old method; he proposes the use of tensile nickel silver as hoops instead of bamboo or copper to sturdily hold the wood in place, allowing the final result to boast a beautiful gloss. “I hope to create a beauty born from simplicity,” the artist remarks. In this upcoming exhibition, Eifu’s newer creations, including wooden containers and tea utensils made with 300-year-old Sawara cypress, will also be available for sale.
© Huls Gallery Tokyo