This elegant celadon porcelain incense burner by artist Kawase Shinobu takes the graceful shape of a lotus flower bud and leaf. The superb quality of celadon glaze achieved by the artist is unmatched in its purity, a formal accomplishment that mirrors the tranquil subject of the piece. A large, flat, oval shaped base serves as a stage on which an-about-to-open lotus flower bud sits, just as the bloom of the lotus plant sits on top of calm, clear water. A small black clay incense holder lies hidden within the flower, signaling that this piece is meant to be used. Curls of fragrant smoke emerge from between the petals of the bud when incense is lit, effectively transforming the space that the work occupies. Great technical skill is required to successfully fire such a large piece, and Shinobu has done so expertly. He descends from a long line of ceramicists and began studying at an early age with his father. His early work adheres to the more traditional Song dynasty style of celadon, but he has been making inventive and original use of the medium since the early 1980s. Shinobu finds inspiration in nature, often taking formal clues from flora and fauna and translating them into elegantly minimal works of art. He has enjoyed great critical success and his award-winning ceramics can be found in many prominent public and private collections.