Nakagawa Mamoru Japanese, Living National Treasures, b. 1947

Recognized for his outstanding mastery of zōgan (metal-inlay), Nakagawa Mamoru was designated a Living National Treasure in 2004 at the age of 56 –the second youngest in history. Nakagawa has been a seminal figure in revitalizing metal-inlay as an important genre of decorative arts in Japan since its decline during the Meiji Restoration period. He has enlivened the traditionally monotone realm of metal-casting with an unprecedented palette of colors. Since the zōgan technique is said to have originated from Turkey, the artist has traveled there on numerous occasions, following the Silk Road, the cultural crossroads of eastern and western Asia. In 2008, he visited the United States on a cultural exchange fellowship under Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs. While on the fellowship in Washington, D.C., he taught a master class on the Kaga zōgan technique at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. The same year, Nakagawa’s work was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the museum’s first contemporary Japanese metalwork.


Selected Exhibitions:

2013 – 2018 Asia Week | New York 
2017 The 64th Japan Traditional Kōgei Exhibition | Japan
2016 Creating Handicrafts, Living National Treasures Exhibition | Wako, Tokyo 
1988 – 2013 The Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition | Tokyo 
2009 – 2013 Onishi Gallery | New York 
2013 Contemporary Kōgei Styles in Japan, Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens | Florida
2008 SOFA | New York
2007 Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan, British Museum | London 
2004 Danish Museum of Art and Design | Copenhagen, Denmark
Selected Public Collections

The Metropolitan Museum of Art | New York 

The British Museum | London 

Victoria and Albert Museum | London 

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art | Kanazawa

Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art | Kanazawa 

Jingu Museum | Ise