2011年09月03日

The Return of the (Casual) Toku Art Blog

Dear Friends of Yufuku/Toku,

It's been a while. This week, I've decided to resuscitate my blog from its unpleasant state of inertia, for various reasons.

1) Yes, I'm busier than ever, but then again, people still need to know what's happening in today's contemporary ceramic art scene in Japan.

2) It appears that people really enjoy reading about what's happening in today's contemporary ceramic art scene in Japan.

3) No other person is writing about what's happening in today's contemporary ceramic art scene in Japan.

To be honest, I've never been a casual writer. Every word I type is important to me, and for this reason, the prospect of incessant tweeting gives me the creeps. But then again, I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and simply write, whatever and whenever, in the hope that the current interest in Japanese ceramics/applied arts continues to grow.

After taking on the helm of Yufuku this year, we've had some great domestic shows such as Mihara-san's sold out domestic show in April (incredibly, right after the Earthquake), along with successful shows in Milan, Paris, London, and currently in Seoul and Heidelberg. Mihara-san's second solo show in New York will begin next week, while Nagae-san's first show in Seoul will begin next month. It's quite amazing to think how many shows outside of Japan that I was able to organise in the past few years, but then again, this only evidences the great interest in Japanese art outside of Japan.

Many of you may know that we're currently holding the 4th solo exhibition of Tamba's Ichino Masahiko at Yufuku. His creativity as an artist is on full display. In my personal opinion, Ichino-san seems to have regained his stride by heightening his attention to form, and balancing his glazing with form as foremost. His red Aka-dobe slip is far better than ever before. And his further-simplified forms now call to mind the great works of Sodeisha's Suzuki Osamu. Ichino, without question, is definitely an artist to watch.

P1040804.jpg

P1040805.JPG

P1040806.JPG

P1040807.JPG

In the news: Bizen's Isezaki Mitsuru, the elder brother of Living National Treasure Jun, passed away last week (August 28th) at the age of 77. Mitsuru and his brother did much to popularise the anagama method of firing in Bizen, and their disciples are many. May he rest in peace.

The 6th Paramita Museum Grand Prize went, democratically, to the young white porcelain artist Wada Akira. Kako Katsumi, who will be having his first solo show at Yufuku in November, was the runner-up. Although Wada is a wonderful person and he even came to see our Ichino exhibition yesterday, I'm not too convinced about his works -yet. His talents are obvious, but his forms are still rigid, and he seems to continue to be developing a sense of scale/dynamism to his often-smaller-sized works. However Wada is unquestionably one of the more popular younger ceramic artists, and is favoured by Karasawa Masahiro (the new head of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo's Craft Department) and Kaneko Kenji, Karasawa's predecessor.

Speaking of Kaneko-san, he recently wrote a scathing refutation of the Asahi Ceramics Exhibition, its jurors and its award winners, in the July edition of Tohsetsu, the prestigious ceramic monthly published by the Japan Ceramics Society (JCS).

Although meant to be in commemoration of the 700th issue of the venerable publication, its contents were a bombshell, and so infuriated many in the Japanese ceramic scene that Toda Morinobu of Seto sent a overly-passionate letter to virtually all the ceramic artists and galleries of Japan in condemnation of Kaneko and his wish to withdraw his membership from the JCS.

Furthermore, Seto's Kato Kiyoyuki and the critic Inoue Takao also wrote reasoned, well-balanced articles in the September issue of Tohsetsu in opposition to Kaneko.

As you may well know, Japan is not known to openly criticise in public, let alone in publications. What did Kaneko-san write, however, which seemed to piss off the ceramic community?

In a nutshell, in his ending remarks Kaneko-san wrote that the recipients of the Asahi Ceramics Exhibition were mainly "one-hit wonders," and that the jurors of the exhibition could not judge properly in the context of Japanese ceramic history, and did not fully understand the "core" of Japanese ceramics today.

Controversial, to be sure. Kaneko-san now plans to publish a defense of his article in the October issue of Tohsetsu, in reaction to the articles of Kato-san and Inoue-san. One of the mediators of this on-going debate, Ono Kimihisa, came to the opening day of the Ichino exhibition and, while laughing, said that this dialogue was good for Japan, esp. if each argument was executed with reason, calm, and politeness. I agree.

In any case, this blog will be updated at least once a week. My next entry will probably come from New York. Although the writing will be done in a hurry and will hardly ever be checked or edited, please bare with me. At the very least, I'm writing. Thanks so much for all your support.

From eastern skies,

Wahei Aoyama 青山和平
Owner and Director
Yufuku Gallery
posted by Toku Art Limited at 11:16| Comment(0) | Ichino Masahiko (Tamba) | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする
この記事へのコメント
コメントを書く
お名前: [必須入力]

メールアドレス: [必須入力]

ホームページアドレス:

コメント: [必須入力]

認証コード: [必須入力]


※画像の中の文字を半角で入力してください。
×

この広告は1年以上新しい記事の投稿がないブログに表示されております。