Black Aura Re-Reversal



One set of two images is a photograph of a Japanese lacquer Urushi sculpture taken by a real photo and the other by 3DCG. This project explores the "surreal/unreal" aesthetic quality of Urushi by moving back and forth between real and virtual worlds.
Urushi is a naturally occurring paint that has been used in East Asia for 12,000 years. In Japan, it has long been used for household goods and furnishings and has been widely loved by people in general to the authority for its robustness, rarity, and beauty. However, as the market for traditional craft shrinks due to changing lifestyles and a shortage of artisans in the younger generation, the Urushi industry is in the need of searching for new possibilities.
We focused on the surface texture of Urushi that gives a "surreal" impression and introduced 3DCG/3D printing technology to explore the appeal of Urushi from a technological point of view, as well as to expand its formative qualities and production process.


  1. The texture of the Urushi is simulated by setting parameters such as color, transparency and particle size with 3D modeling software.
  2. Created 3D data while checking the image of the finished Urushi sculpture. The motif was inspired by the unrealistic/surreal impression of the Urushi surface, and I made a floating object.
  3. A 3D simulation of the collision of two objects. Complex 3D data is generated by physics calculations and any complicated modeling techniques are introduced by hand.
  4. Lighting and background are set up in 3DCG and 3DCG images are exported from various angles. The aesthetics of the surface of the Urushi are virtually explored, and the finished image of the sculpture is determined.
  5. The 3D data of the two objects is output by a 3D printer, and multiple layers of Urushi and polishing are applied.
  6. The lighting and background of the simulation were reproduced in the studio, and the Urushi sculpture was photographed. Any props used in the shooting were erased with minimal retouching.
  7. Photographs of Urushi sculptures taken from the same angle are juxtaposed with CG images.




ReKOGEI is a collective community of traditional craftsmen, artists, engineers and designers. The group was launched in 2017 with the aim of reinterpretation and reconstruction of the history, aesthetics, and techniques of traditional crafts through the perspective of contemporary technology, and its members come from across the spectrum. Their activities have been focused on Japanese lacquer Urushi in particular and the "between" series, which explores the allure of Urushi through the lens of technology, is a project that includes both artworks and product prototypes, with several outputs to date. ReKOGEI have been working on a project that asks the question, "What is Urushi?" by moving back and forth between CG images and real-life Urushi sculptures using 3DCG/3D printing, as well as a project that utilizes these technologies.

ReKOGEI Members

Director: Tomoya Ishibashi / Urushi: Mitsuhiro Kyoden / Modeler: Kotaro Shima / 3d designer: Yusuke Matsumoto / Algorithmic Designer: Junichiro Horikawa / Photographer: Masakazu Hirata / Retoucher : Michiko Nishio / Project Manager: Toshiyuki Numa / Designer: Takahisa Hashimoto / Engineer: Masaru Mizuochi / Project Manager: Yuta Hikichi / Copywriter: Kanako Shintaku