Yasuhara Kimei 安原喜明 1906-1980

Yasuhara Kimei, also known as Yasuhara Yoshiaki, was born in Tokyo in 1906. He was one of Japan's most avant-garde ceramic artists of his time. Famous for his stoneware "炻器 Sekki" ceramic works, he conceptualized the "Object Vase", or "vase as an art object", which had an influence that transcended the world ceramics alone.


In 1924, at his father's urging, he studied pottery making techniques under Miyagawa Kozan II (1842-1916) in Yokohama, and around 1927, he studied under Itaya Hazan (1872 – 1963), learning how to be an individual ceramic artist.


It is important to note that Yasuhara learned from two master ceramic craftsmen at the start of his pottery career. Miyagawa Kozan II inherited the Makazu kiln, which had been in operation since the Meiji period (1868-1912), and was the master of a large pottery workshop with over 100 craftsmen, and was well versed in various ceramic techniques. On the other hand, Itaya Hazan, like Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886– 1963) and Kusube Yaichi (1897–1984), was a pioneer of individual ceramic artists in the 20th century, who studied "creativity" at art school and established himself as an artist by exhibiting his works at exhibitions.


This means that Yasuhara was able to learn from the most talented ceramic artists of his time the necessary requirements for a ceramic artist: a broad range of traditional ceramic techniques and authorship (creativity). Yasuhara's later work in an extremely wide range of techniques, including pottery, porcelain, and stoneware (especially glazed, non-glazed, inlaid, and painted porcelain), and the development of his own expression using these techniques, were based on the knowledge and teachings he had learned from Kozan and Hazan from the beginning of his pottery making career.


Around 1937, Yasuhara began creating vases for Teshigawara Sofu. At that time, Teshigawara was exploring ikebana art as a creative new form and space, rather than formalized ikebana. Radical ikebana artists like Teshigahara were quick to learn about the objects of the Surrealists and Dadaists in Western art from magazines of the time, and began using terms such as "obuje (objet d'art)" and "obuje kaki (vase as art object)“. Ceramic artists who had been in contact with flower arrangement artists also began to produce vases with a different formative and creative style. Yasuhara, who had been in contact with Teshigawara, also began to expand his expression considerably from the late 1930s onward.