Almost everybody remembers the first time they saw the work of Hiroshi Suzuki. I first came upon one of his silver vases in the Contemporary Applied Arts shop and I just stood before it, transfixed. It was the simplicity of the shape coupled with the exquisite working of the hammered curving “waves” that got me. I loved the way traditional silversmithing techniques had been used to create something fresh and new. I thought it quite beautiful.
I am not alone. Rosemary Ransome Wallis, Collections Curator at Goldsmiths’ Hall, first saw his work in 1999, just after his degree show, and was struck by its “dynamic presence”. “Ultimately, it is Suzuki’s poetry which defines his work,” she says.
Now a professor at Musashino Art University in Tokyo but still keeping a London studio, Suzuki has won numerous awards, including the Schoonhoven Silver Award in Holland for one of his Earth-Reki vases. According to the judges, “His impressive vase is archetypal and combines monumentalism with a refined and poetic feeling for detail and finish.”
The point of bringing him to your attention now is that Goldsmiths’ is running an exhibition of some 70 of his pieces (such as Earth II, pictured) until March 6. It’s called Hiroshi Suzuki – Silver Waves, because, as all his fans know, it is waves, creases, ripples and curves that are synonymous with all he does. Though the exhibition pieces are not for sale, it offers a wonderful chance to see his work and – for those planning a special present – to commission something from his UK gallery, Adrian Sassoon (from £15,000).