Flore Falcinelli
© DR

Flore Falcinelli

  • Japon
From 28 December 2020 to 28 December 2021
Flore Falcinelli is a Villa Kujoyama 2020 residency programme laureate (residency postponed due to the health context).


Flore Falcinelli has been designing objects and unique pieces in European lacquer and restoring old lacquered objects for 6 years.

Born in 1988 into a family of artisans, she was introduced to lacquer in her grandparents workshop. In 2011 she obtained a DMA in lacquer (artistic profession diploma) at the ENSAAMA Olivier de Serres, and joined the family workshop restoring and preserving lacquer. Since then, she spends her professional life between creating as a plastic artist and restoring old lacquered objects.

She uses European lacquer, a technique invented in France in the 18th century which took inspiration from ancestral Asian gestures and practices. The art of hiding and revealing, it is the result of alternating layers of lacquer loaded in pigments and sanding, to which precious materials are added to create complex decoration (gold leaf, mother of pearl...).

Her work shows her fascination for the natural world. She enjoys giving her creations an element of mystery of the plant world, or show the nature of animals.

Worm-eaten wood, bone, sinuous knots in bare wood, throughout her works we find the mark of impermanence, traces of a unique moment. They echo the connection between time and the lacquer technique. First of all the technique implies that the designer is patient and meticulous. Only then does the object’s real life begin, in the hands of its owner. Time and use will therefore leave traces and marks on the object, imbuing it with a story.

Residency Project

Imprints of lacquer: an interdisciplinary approach between urushi and vernis Martin

The project Flore has drawn up for her residency at villa Kujoyama aims to continue and enrich the dialogue she has had since she began with a double tradition, that of the vernis Martin technique dear to the family workshop and that of urushi, Japanese plant lacquer. As materials, both serve to protect the objects they cover, like a skin. And like a skin, each lacquered work has a thickness, a particular grain left by time and use. The exploration of the organic dimension of lacquer, both element of an ensemble and independent reality, occupies an important place in Flore’s artistic work.

The image of a skin of lacquer fertilises the project she wants to accomplish. In the huge family of urushi, the Dakkatsu kanshitsu seemed to be an fascinating object and the promise of new possibilities. This technique enables volumes to be created, light and resistant objects, only made of strips of urushi-saturated fabric. All while freeing the lacquer from its status of protective layer, it ensures an immediate passing of the material to the object. The skin lifts and takes a shape and consistency the artist has decided to give it. The third dimension is missing from Flore’s palette, who wants to recentre her work on the shape and add space to her work. The project’s ambition is to blend kanshitsu with vernis Martin. This artistic work will be the occasion for the artist to create a repertoire of encounters with the artisans and lacquer artists. She sees in this experience a feasible dialogue opened between European and Japanese traditions, between the universes and contemporary artists practising these techniques. Is the skin not a contact surface, the organ through which we touch and recognise ourselves?

Flore Falcinelli : Ryoboku 1 - Croquis © DR
Flore Falcinelli : Ukiyo (2018) - Vernis martin sur écorce de cerisier, pigments, peinture à l'huile et feuilles d'or © DR
Flore Falcinelli : Trace - Commode © DR