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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Ten of the Most Costly Arts & Artwork Provides within the Worlds: Japanese Bonsai Scissors & Calligraphy Brushes, Tunisian Dye Constructed from Snails and Extra

A couple of years in the past, we fea­tured a $32,000 pair of bon­sai scis­sors right here on Open Cul­ture. Newer­ly, their mak­er Yasuhi­ro Hira­ka appeared in the Busi­ness Insid­er video above, an in depth 80-minute intro­duc­tion to 10 of essentially the most expen­sive arts and artwork sup­plies world wide. It would come as no sur­prise that issues Japan­ese fig­ure in it promi­nent­ly and greater than as soon as. In truth, the video begins in Nara Pre­fec­ture, “the place for over 450 years, the com­pa­ny Kobaien, has been mak­ing a few of the world’s most sought-after cal­lig­ra­phy ink” — the sumi it’s possible you’ll know from the clas­si­cal Japan­ese artwork type sumi‑e.

However even essentially the most painstak­ing­ly professional­duced and expen­sive­ly acquired ink on the earth is not any use with­out  brush­es. Seeking the best examination­ples of these, the video’s subsequent seg­ment takes us to anoth­er a part of Japan, Hiroshi­ma Pre­fec­ture, the place an arti­san named Yoshiyu­ki Hata runs a piece­store ded­i­cat­ed to the “no-com­professional­mise crafts­man­ship” of cal­lig­ra­phy brush­es. Certainly one of his top-of-the-line mod­els, made with rig­or­ous­ly hand-select­ed goat hair, might value the equiv­a­lent of $27,000 — however for an equal­ly uncom­professional­mis­ing mas­ter cal­lig­ra­ph­er, mon­ey appears to be no object.

How­ev­er ded­i­cat­ed its crafts­males and prac­ti­tion­ers, in no way does the Land of the Ris­ing Solar have a monop­oly on expen­sive artwork sup­plies. This video additionally contains Tyr­i­an pur­ple dye made in Tunisia the old-fash­ioned manner — certainly, the traditional manner — by extract­ing the glands of murex snails; the sơn mài lac­quer paint­ing distinctive to Viet­nam that requires tox­ic tree resin; long-last­ing ultra-high-qual­i­ty oil paints wealthy with uncommon pig­ments like cobalt blue; and Kolin­sky’s Sequence 7 sable water­col­or brush, which is created from hairs from the tails of Siber­ian weasels, and whose course of of professional­duc­tion has remained the identical because it was first cre­at­ed for Queen Vic­to­ria in 1866.

This world tour additionally comes round to non-tra­di­tion­al artwork kinds and instruments. One oper­a­tion in Ohio turns the muck of indus­tri­al pol­lu­tion — “acid mine drainage,” to get tech­ni­cal — into pig­ments that may make vivid paints. The stratos­pher­ic costs com­mand­ed by cer­tain works of “mod­ern artwork,” broad­ly con­sid­ered, have lengthy impressed satire, however right here we get a clos­er examination­i­na­tion of the con­nec­tion between the character of the work and the price of pur­chas­ing it. “What seems to be sim­ple could be the cul­mi­na­tion of a life­time’s work,” one examination­ple of which is Kazmir Male­vich’s Black Sq., “the results of twen­ty years of sim­pli­fi­ca­tion and devel­op­ment.” When you don’t know any­factor about that paint­ing, it’s going to appear to have no val­ue; by the identical token, should you don’t know any­factor about these $32,000 bon­sai scis­sors, you’ll prob­a­bly use them to open Ama­zon field­es.

Relat­ed con­tent:

What Makes the Artwork of Bon­sai So Expen­sive?: $1 Mil­lion for a Bon­sai Tree, and $32,000 for Bon­sai Scis­sors

How Ink is Made: The Course of Revealed in a Mouth-Water­ing Video

Behold a E book of Col­or Shades Depict­ed with Feath­ers (Cir­ca 1915)

Why Renais­sance Mas­ters Added Egg Yolk to Their Paints: A New Examine Sheds Gentle

Dis­cov­er Harvard’s Col­lec­tion of two,500 Pig­ments: Pre­serv­ing the World’s Uncommon, Gained­der­ful Col­ors

Watch Artist Shep­ard Fairey Pre­are likely to Work in an Artwork Sup­ply Retailer

Primarily based in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His tasks embrace the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the e-book The State­much less Metropolis: a Stroll via Twenty first-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video collection The Metropolis in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­e-book.

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