Murose Kazumi (born 1950) is a leading figure in the world of contemporary Japanese lacquer. The son of a lacquer artist and a student at Tokyo University of Arts of the legendary Matsuda Gonroku (1896-1986), he is active both as an individual maker and as a conservator of historical lacquer artefacts. He first visited the V&A in the early 1990s when he was conducting a survey into the condition of lacquer collections in European museums. Since then he has given courses in lacquer cleaning at the V&A and has also taught staff from the Museum's Conservation Department at his studio in Tokyo. For two weeks in July 1995 he gave a series of demonstrations at the V&A on the techniques of maki-e ('sprinkled picture') decoration, the discipline in which he specialises. This was part of the education programme of the exhibition, 'Japanese Studio Crafts: Tradition and the Avant-Garde', held that summer. Having long sought to acquire an example of his work, the V&A was eventually able to purchase this supremely elegant tiered food box. With its striking decoration - the apparent simplicity of which belies the very exacting series of processes used in its making - this work represents an important new departure for Murose. 'Now that I have spent thirty years proving myself as a creator of pictorial designs,' he explained, 'I can now move on and embrace abstraction.'