What an unsung treasure is the Mingei International Museum of Folk Art, Craft and Design in San Diego. The Artist and I were enchanted with its current exhibitions of contemporary Japanese ceramics (awesome) and prints; an informative exhibition about the colour blue; and a fabulous exibition of hats from their permanent collection (the latter is no longer on exhibit).
I have shown here a ceramic piece by Yasuhiro Kohara from the Nature, Tradition, Innovation exhibition of contemporary Japanese ceramics (until January 6 2013). This master craftsman is self-taught which gives his work an intuitive, unrestricted style. He is known for his washes of green glaze, evocative of the lush green environment of the Shiga prefecture. What also distinguishes Kohara’s work is the ‘dragonfly eye’, where he allows translucent glazes to pool together inside his ceramics creating a jewelled formation. You can see this glaze in the photo to the left of the handle.
What The Artist and I particularly like about this work is that it clearly shows the artist’s hand. You can almost see Kohara’s hands gently forming this work, easing the handle over the void between the sides, brushing the clay with the celadon glaze and tipping into the basket the lustrous green glaze.
I frequently look at the photos I took of this work. Kohara has created an intimacy between himself and the viewer through allowing us to see the naked creativity. Rough edges have not been smoothed, the perfection lies in its rawness.
- Barbara Brooks on The Last Post for A Great Man : Farewell Digger
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