2011年10月31日

Nakamura Exhibition - Visitors Aplenty

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If you haven't yet seen the Nakamura Takuo exhibition in all its glory, please check www.yufuku.net/e.. It may blow your mind.

Every day we've seen a swarm of people go in and out through Yufuku's doors - I think it could be our busiest domestic show of the year, bar Mihara Ken's show last April.

More so than just the number of people, what strikes me about this current show is the sheer quality of works. Takuo-san believes it may be his best group of works ever, and many seem to concur, in particular Joan Mirviss of NYC, respected curator Moroyama Masanori of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and, most telling of all, Nakamura Kinpei, the elderly stateman of avant-garde ceramics in Japan, and the elder brother of Takuo (10 years his elder, in fact).

One may think that a sibling would automatically give a thumb's up to anything a younger brother might produce, but this is far from a given in the case of the Nakamura family. In fact, Takuo feared his brother far more than his father Baizan II during his youth and for the great part of his life, as his brother was far more critical of the art of his brother - so critical, in fact, that Kinpei had never praised Takuo's works in his 30 years of creating ceramics. Except, that is, until Takuo's Yufuku show.

Kinpei-san walked through the door, sat down immediately with a grunt, and then just sat there, staring at the works, for about 20 minutes, without saying a word. He would put his hand on his chin, nod, and then gaze at another piece without even saying hello to Takuo-san or myself.

After a while, Kinpei stood up and asked Takuo a simple technical question - just how did he pull off such beautifully layered glazing - it was better than he had ever seen before. And upon departing, he told his younger brother, "This is your best work yet. You may now be the best enamellist in all of Kanazawa, let alone Japan."

I agree. And I believe his brother's words were enough to melt Takuo's heart. In fact, the artist was beaming throughout our evening dinner with the Yufuku team.

One work (or style) in particular, other than the tall Kuritsu (Capturing Space), which struck Kinpei was Takuo's new invention, which is a 3rd bar-like ceramic piece that sits atop his ceramic duet "Vessel not a Vessel". Entitled "Vessel not a Vessel Plus," (see image above), it features an enamelled ceramic bar called an osoigi (frame), which is the term used for the outer rim of a traditional byobu (folding screen). This bar is removable and interchangeable, and adds a new dimension to Takuo-san's abstract stoneware. Now a trio, his works brim with a new-found confidence and majestic grandeur that is far more symphonic than ever before.

We hope you enjoy the works, on display until the 5th (sat) of November.

From eastern skies,

Wahei Aoyama 青山和平
Yufuku Gallery
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