2007年06月15日

Artistic Archaelogy and the Work of Mihara Ken -Article by Prof. Michael Carrasco

mihara new works 2 001.jpg

Izumo ceramicist Mihara Ken (三原研) is an artist of great depth, and his work is almost spellbinding in its tranquil, even solemn, aura.

The show, now approaching an end, has found wide acclaim and robust sales from both fans and critics alike. All of us sensed that Mihara was on to something special, but we were all pleasantly surprised to find his work purchased by some incredibly famous names, for example the owner and director of a leading contemporary art gallery in Tokyo, or by a buyer from a world-class museum that needs no introduction.

Before the show closes, I will like to take the opportunity to introduce an excellent show summary of Mihara and his work, written by Professor Michael Carrasco. Michael, an art historian with a passion for world ceramics (and armed with a sharp eye), has kindly allowed us to use his article for our blog. We believe it is an enlightening overview of Mihara's aesthetics, and we hope you enjoy it. Thank you Michael!


Artistic archaeology and the work of Mihara Ken
by Michael Carrasco


Mihara Ken is an exceptional ceramist whose new work is currently on view in the show “Kigen -A New Beginning”at the Yufuku Gallery in Tokyo. Traditionally, he has crafted his sekki wares through a complicated double firing where the bisqued vessels are encased in a layer of clay, which is removed after the second firing to reveal the rawness of the ceramic body, free of any of the kiln effects caused by direct exposure to the fire. In his most recent work, such as the pieces in the current Yufuku exhibition, he has fired them a third time to bring out an additional range of colors not seen in his previous vessels (see below).

This surface quality of stony weight and subtle texture that he creates through his firing process lends a kind of silent monumentality to what are relatively modest pieces, ranging in form from vegetal inspired sculptural subjects to vessels echoing ancient objects, such as Jou (Chou) and Han dynasty bronze artifacts. In past work, he seems to have created forms that almost suggest a prototype in metal, again similar to certain ancient Chinese ceramics, which were in fact meant to imitate bronze. However, Mihara's vases and bowls do not imitate vessel forms in other media nor should they be seen as doing so; but are, rather, echoes of past moments from the history of art, echoes whose cadence Mihara has captured in his own artifacts. In this sense, his pieces strike me as a kind of artistic archaeology. That is, they communicate an idea of past materiality in a tangible, haptic way that transcends verbal descriptions of ancient forms because his work brings them new life and allows us to experience them afresh.

The pieces represented in the current show move toward greater abstraction and simplicity, perhaps to better emphasis the rich surface textures and variations of color achieved through his innovative firing technique. The segmentation that divides many of these recent pieces horizontally nearly mirror bamboo joints. However, rather than maintain a fixed, identifiable mimetic referent, these facets create simple, compelling surfaces upon which variations in color record the dance of the kiln's fire. To see Mihara's latest work as a surface to be written upon is not entirely devoid of merit when one considers the explicit analogy he makes between clay and paper in his origami pieces. The ambiguity of form enriches the work and provides a dynamic movement that complements the color complexity of his new vessels. Mihara's artistic production represents a significant new direction in contemporary Japanese studio ceramics as well as a profound engagement with ancient forms.

(For more on the excellent work of Prof. Michael Carrasco, please click the links below.)

http://www.mdcarrasco.com/blog/
http://learningobjects.wesleyan.edu/palenque/
posted by Toku Art Limited at 11:27| Comment(0) | Mihara Ken (Sekki) | 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。