Group exhibition surveys over 100 tea bowls made by 11 artists

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Group exhibition surveys over 100 tea bowls made by 11 artists
Installation view.

NEW YORK, NY.- Ippodo Gallery is presenting ‘Magic of the Tea Bowl’, a group exhibition surveying over 100 tea bowls made by 11 artists, ranging from emerging to established ceramic artists. These artists take the traditional, highly regarded form of the tea bowl and reconstruct it with their own fresh contemporary style. These pieces, made by artists of different backgrounds – from self-taught ceramicists to sons of master potters, the range of work and visual identity is vast. The tea bowl is one of the most valuable, highly respected forms of art in Asian culture. Since the 16th century, the Japanese have used the tea bowl in traditional tea ceremony and as a result, it has become an object held at high esteem.

Ippodo Gallery New York, throughout the years, have witnessed the attention that tea bowls receive. They have the capacity to capture hearts and become a mediator between the artist and viewer – the bowls can be touched, appreciated and experienced through human interaction – through the 5 senses. As tea bowls are used, whether in the traditional sense of the tea ceremony or for casual everyday tea, the viewer establishes a connection, a day-to-day narrative and ritual with the object. The tea bowl no longer stands alone as a work of fine art made by a singular artist but a collaboration between the artist and viewer. This is an intimate relationship.

Each tea bowl in the exhibition has their own unique characteristics true to the artist’s own visual language. From undulating lips and decorative glazing to altered forms and unique material, each tea bowl contains their own narrative, their own singular universe. Ippodo Gallery hopes to share the universe of the tea bowl with you.

Yasushi Fujihira’s (1963) work takes after his late father, Shin Fujihira. Shin Fujihira was known for his soft glazes, with a signature being purple cinnabar. Yasushi’s pieces are inspired by the unique and whimsical nature of his father’s work and takes it to another level. Yasushi uses uncommon glazes and combinations to create illustrious surfaces. His works are refreshingly unique and contemporary.

Noriyuki Furutani’s (1984) Tenmoku Tea Bowls have become a signature of his work. The hare’s fur, oil spot glazing thickly applied over a simple ceramic silhouette creates a beautiful, dark composition. The tenmoku glaze is incredibly sought after due to its complex technique and historical significance in central Asia. Furutani has perfected his own tenmoku formula.

Hiroshi Goseki (1988) studied Bizenware under Living National Treasure, Jun Isezaki, and as a result, his pieces reflect the spirit and spontaneous nature of a Bizen firing. The building method used is a unique combination of hand building and wheel throwing, producing undulating edges and unique silhouettes. Through the wood fire, his pieces retain incredible colors of blue and red.

Tomoyuki Hoshino’s (1976) pieces have a sense of purity and childlike innocence. The colored, cotton candy pink porcelain is coated with a layer of translucent sugar-like white glaze. Hoshino’s take on the tea bowl is youthful and soft, inspired by the silhouettes of dancing women.

Morimitsu Hosokawa’s (1972) ceramic work varies in their visual language. His father, Morihiro Hosokawa was a former apprentice to Shiro Tsujimura. The wheel thrown, Ido style pieces are wide and open, contrasting the seemingly hand built, rounder tea bowls in Hosokawa’s collection. With each tea bowl, Morimitsu Hosokawa seems to be carefully considering their surfaces and how the additions of glaze can enhance or hide the surface of the clay.

Yukiya Izumita (1966) is a pioneer of his own technique of creating layered (Sekisoh) clay compositions on the surface of his works. He works with a local, salt rich clay. The layers of clay are rolled, flattened, and stacked to create a natural, interlacing composition that mimics the weathering of rock. The final result is a form that contains a sense of breathlessness.

Kan Kishino’s (1975) ceramic works all have a similar earthy atmosphere. Kan Kishino studied under Dogyu Fukmori. Working in the heart of Shigaraki, one of the ancient kilns in Japan, his pieces sing with influence from primarily Yakishime and Ido styles. Kishino’s ceramics emphasize the spontaneity of a natural firing, bringing the traditional into the contemporary with a new life.

Kan Matsuzaki’s (1977) tea bowls are painterly and expressive. Kan Matsuzaki works alongside his father, Ken Matsuzaki. They share a kiln and use the same wood fire technique in Mashiko. Matsuzaki incorporates thick, contrasting slip and glaze that adds a wash of texture and color to the surface.

Yui Tsujimura’s (1975) visual language is crisp and expressive, illustrating the artist’s interest in nature’s collaboration. Yui quickly developed his own visual language inspired by Korean Sue Ware. The majority of Yui Tsujimura’s work is coated with a signature blue, green ash glaze made from natural pine. His tea bowls contain a sense of airiness and breath.

Kai Tsujimura’s (1976) work breathes a new life into the traditional styles of tea bowls. Kai’s father, Shiro Tsujimura, has been a mentor to him since the early days. His study of traditional black, Kohiki, and Ido tea ware influence his style of making. All fired in an atmospheric anagama kiln, the works all display a sense of life, as if the process of fire woke up the clay from slumber.

Kodai Ujiie (b.1990) creates pieces with refreshing construction and unique use of mediums. The celadon glaze with a colored lacquer inlay is an innovative and unique technique that is part of Ujiie’s visual language, and he continues to experiment with these materials.

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