Homo Faber

PRESS EN Languages Account Follow us Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter
Presented by logo Homo Faber by Michelangelo Foundation
© Michelangelo Foundation
Tracing Venice

Kenji Suda


Kenji Suda was born into a family who has specialised in woodwork for five generations, with traditions and skills handed down from father to son. After graduating from high school, he became an apprentice to his father who, like Suda, had been an apprentice to his father. Suda is known for his intricately detailed boxes that blur the boundary between functional objects and works of art. He specialises in Japanese joinery, sashimono, using only wood to join and assemble various parts. The joints are purposefully hidden as a demonstration of the artisan’s skills. He also prefers this type of joint over standard European dovetails, as they will not warp with moisture. His creations, normally boxes, highlight the beauty of the material, be it maple, black persimmon or mulberry. He was designated a Preserver of Important Intangible Cultural Properties of Japan for Woodwork in 2014.

National Living Treasure - the category of woodwork
Japanese government

The joints created by Kenji Suda are meticulous pieces of work. It is noteworthy that the acceptable margin of error is calculated by the hundredth of a millimetre. Each individual piece of wood has a function, each thickness is calculated for a reason. For example, a draw is cut and placed in such a way that the surrounding wood does not get scratched when the draw is pulled out or placed in. This type of detail, but half a millimetre thick, is extremely complicated to achieve but will give the box this perfect finish. He is concerned by the overall concept of the box, not only as a functional piece but also so that it inspires the imagination of those looking at it.

Technique Sashimono Objects The Ateliers of Wonders Exhibition 12 Stone Garden Exhibition Contact

You may also like