Holding Water: Japanese Water Jars
S tarting tomorrow, March 10, 2016 and running to April 15, 2016, Joan B Mirviss, LTD. and Japan’s Shibuya Kurodatoen Co., LTD. present the ceramic exhibit A Palette for Genius: Japanese Water Jars for the Tea Ceremony, coinciding with the start of Asia Week New York 2016.
With origins dating back to the 9th century, nothing is quite as inextricably linked within the realm of Japanese ceramics as chanoyu, the tea ceremony. Each ceramic utensil employed is selected with great care and thus, a culture of art has always surrounded this tradition. This exhibition juxtaposes ancient traditions with current interpretations of the mizusashi, a lidded water jar used to replenish the brazier, as a testament to the evolution of this timeless tea ceremony utensil.
Usually made of ceramic, the water jar’s entry into the tea room marks the beginning of the formal preparation of tea, and occupies a prominent position throughout the proceedings. Apart from some basic requirements in regard to size and shape, the artist has tremendous freedom to create a vessel that will be visually compelling, yet functional. However, regardless of style, the water jar’s ultimate aim is to offer a profound spiritual experience through the drinking of tea and silent contemplation. Andrew Maske, whose essay is featured in the exhibition’s catalogue, remarks of the show, “This selection of water jars features a stunning display of work by Japan’s most renowned modern and contemporary ceramic artists. Their techniques span the range of traditional, innovative, and original processes that reflect a wide array of aesthetic approaches, from rough and gestural, to refined and exquisite.”
For hundreds of years, the tea ceremony has inspired Japanese ceramists to create highly unique utensils, like the water jar, which embody the mantra of tea, ichi-go ichi-e, “for this time only”. This philosophy guides the spirit of this exhibition which presents ceramists with utterly singular styles, such as more traditional masters like Fujimoto Nôdô (1919-1992), Ishiguro Munemaro (1893-1968), Katô Tôkurô (1898-1985), Kitaôji Rosanjin (1883-1959), Kiyomizu Rokubei VI (1901-1980), Koyama Fujio (1900-1975), Okabe Mineo (1919-1990), Suzuki Osamu (1926-2001), Tokuda Yasokichi III (1933-2009), and Yagi Kazuo (1918-1979), as well as artists with a contemporary flair such as Fukumoto Fuku (b. 1973), Itô Hidehito (b.1971), Katsumata Chieko (b.1950), Kawase Shinobu (b.1950), Kondô Takahiro (b.1958), Morino Taimei (b.1934), Sakiyama Takiyuki (b.1958), Suzuki Gorô (b.1941), and Yagi Akira (b.1955), among others.
Joan B. Mirviss, with over thirty-five years in the field, is the leading western dealer in the field of modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics. The New York-based gallery on Madison Ave. exclusively represents top Japanese clay artists. Founded in 1969, Shibuya Kuradatoen Co., LTD has been the leading gallery for prominent exhibitions of master ceramists as well as a platform for launching new talents.
Prices begin from around $2,150.