In the 1990s, I had the privilege of hunting Mingei pottery for the late Dr. John Driscoll. It was during this time that I encountered a large painted jar by Murata Gen 村田 元 (1904-1988). Driscoll encouraged and supported my interest in Murata, which fueled my ongoing search for the artist's work.
Today, as we celebrate emerging artists in the Japanese ceramic scene, it's essential to recognize the pioneers who came before them—those hidden giants whose stories deserve to be told and heard. Murata Gen, a master of his art, is one such artist whose remarkable pieces make a valuable addition to any collection.
Originally trained as a painter, Murata relocated from Tokyo to Mashiko, following in Hamada's footsteps. Notable artists such as Shimaoka Tatsuzo, Matsuzaki Ken, Hamada Shoji, Kimura Kitamura Koji, and others joined him. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Murata worked independently and signed his creations, believing himself to be an artist.
Investing in Murata Gen's work is not only an opportunity to own a piece of Japanese modern art history, but also a chance to cherish the unique aesthetic he developed. Each piece embodies the culmination of his artistic journey, making them a rare find that will only appreciate in value over time.
As a collector, you'll undoubtedly appreciate Murata's innovative style. His combination of indigenous clay and glazes from Mashiko with layered, mixed glazes results in visually stunning works that evoke a sense of depth and complexity. His vases not only possess form but also rhythm and soul, revealing a unique landscape quality achieved by mixing rice husk glaze with black slip.
By acquiring Murata Gen's pieces, you're not only investing in exceptional works of art, but you're also helping to preserve the legacy of an influential artist. Each piece serves as a testament to Murata's unwavering dedication to his craft and his pursuit of artistic expression, making them an ideal addition to any discerning art collection.
Don't miss the opportunity to own a piece of Japanese ceramic history. Murata Gen's works are a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit, and their timeless beauty will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on anyone who encounters them. Secure your investment in Murata's artistry today, and watch as his legacy continues to grow and inspire future generations.
Beatrice Chang, 2023