Friday, January 04, 2008

Tatsuzō Shimaoka





Seven Junipers has just introduced me
to Tatsuzō Shimaoka

a ceramicist

renowned in the Mingei
Japanese folk-art movement of the early 20th C.

I think the idea here --
is to have a sturdy, simple style

appropriate for a humble
peasant life style.

Sort of like the pieces shown above


simplicity can be a virtue,

and actually,
Japan was a rather poor country
until recent times
so this is something they perfected






like this piece,
where the simple
can become meditative


but what I like about Tatsuzo,
is that
there seems to be a restless


maybe even a whacky
spirit underneath that calm exterior







What was he thinking
when he made
this strange piece?




and he has more than one way
to be strange









this piece seems to be so illusional






and maybe this one is prophetic ?





I feel like I've entered the set
of a science fiction movie









birth of a universe ?



what a pleasure
when something feels
both
strange and pleasant



And this has to be

one of the most spectacular


slide shows


available on the internet.


There's got to be about 50 pieces there.

A wonderful exploration
of one man's aesthetic life





7 Comments:

Blogger Lori Witzel said...

As soon as the pain meds wear off a bit, I'll be back to look longer and more. (Dental work. Aeeii!)

January 05, 2008  
Blogger chris miller said...

Hi, Lori -- yes, I read your recent post about your root canal -- and cringed appropriately.

But if you're feeling miserable -- just click on that slide show -- and let yourself be therapeutically bathed in its sequence of aesthetic images.

Ahhhhh.... now don't you feel better already ?

January 05, 2008  
Blogger MW said...

Chris ~ Thought you might find this interesting. Hamada was Shimaoka's teacher. It's a wonderful chance to see a real master potter at work. Looks so effortless, doesn't it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwFtg8mBW3s

January 05, 2008  
Blogger Uke Xensen said...

That's a really good overview of Tatsuzo Shimaoka's work. It gave me a richer appreciation of his multiple dimensions.

-- xensen (7 junipers)

January 05, 2008  
Anonymous GEM said...

Chris - this really looks like Mashiko ware, and Mashiko was where Hamada lived and worked. This "chatter" -type surface decoration is so beautiful, it is too bad that not many potters in North America have learned this technique. I particularly love this "feel" and character in ceramic ware. This is a yummy post! GEM

January 07, 2008  
Anonymous marly said...

Wonderful slide show, Chris. I enjoyed all of this. The last two of yours seem especially surprising.

Since all artists are all constrained in ways we do not even comprehend--being enmeshed in an era--it is interesting to see one man's transformations and flights within constraints and a seemingly narrow but fruitful aesthetic.

January 19, 2008  
Blogger Lee Love said...

Gem said:

"This "chatter" -type surface decoration is so beautiful, it is too bad that not many potters in North America have learned this technique. I particularly love this "feel" and character in ceramic ware."

Hi Gem,

I was the last foreign apprentice of Shimaoka Sensei's. I set up a pottery in Mashiko after 3 years of study. I am in Minneapolis now, and use Shimaoka's inlay technique.

You can see some of my work here:

http://mashikopots.blogspot.com/

Lee in Minneapolis

May 03, 2008  

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