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Golden Sea also borrows its gold transfer technique from my mentor and professor Matazo Kayama (1927–2004), whose lineage of Rinpa tradition I carry with me even though I am an American working in Princeton. It was Kayama-sensei who imbued in me the ‘third color’ of gold and silver particularly the idea that Japanese metal leafs, because they are so thin, can be transferred like monotypes. The ‘secret ingredient’ behind the Golden Sea transfer of gold is a Japanese hand woven silk which is made in a strict traditional manner but is no longer produced today. Therefore, Golden Sea is a homage to and a lament for dying traditions, as well as an expression of the sublimity inherent in precious materials.

Golden Sea painting
Golden Sea Mineral Pigments and Gold on Kumohada, 80×64″, Collection of Roberta and Howard Ahmanson © 2011 Makoto Fujimura

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