sunago 砂子
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
A type of foil *kirihaku 切箔, usually gold or silver, cut so finely that the pieces are as minute as grains of sand suna 砂. It is then sprinkled from a bamboo cylinder with small holes at the bottom over a thin layer of glue *nikawa 膠 or lacquer which has been brushed across the areas to be decorated. Since the late Heian period, paintings, lacquerware and sutra or writing papers have been decorated with sunago, which produces a soft but rich effect. The famous Heike noukyou 平家納経 sutra is a fine example of this technique and other types of cut-foil application. In paintings sunago is used in place of pigments to represent ground or mist as well as to suggest empty space.


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