Nakagawa Mamoru, recognized for his outstanding mastery of zōgan (metal-inlay), was designated a Living National Treasure in 2004 at the age of 56, the second youngest in history. Nakagawa has been a seminal figure in revitalizing metal-metal-inlay as an important genre of decorative arts in Japan since it’s decline during the Meiji Restoration period. He has enlivened the traditionally monotone realm of metal casting with an unprecedented palette of colors.
Since the zōgan technique is said to have originated around Turkey, the artist has traveled there many times, following the Silk Road, the cultural crossroads of eastern and western Asia. In 2008, he visited the United States on a cultural exchange fellowship from Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs. While on the fellowship in Washington, D.C., he taught a master class on Kaga zōgan technique at the Corcoran College of Art and Design.


2013-2019: Asia Week New York, US
2017: The 64th Japan Traditional Kōgei Exhibition, Japan
2016: Creating Handicrafts, Living National Treasures Exhibition, Wako, Tokyo, Japan
1988-2013: The Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan
2013: Contemporary Kōgei Styles in Japan, Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, Florida, US
2008: SOFA, New York, US
2007: Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan, British Museum, London, UK
2004: Danish Museum of Art and Design, Copenhagen, Denmark
1999: Mitsukoshi Etoile, Paris, France
1995: Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK