Kind of Blue: New York Asia Week Spring 2019: The Art of Blue in Japanese Ceramics

13 - 23 March 2019

Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd. presents Kind of Blue: Artists Working with Celadon and Beyond, a spring exhibition exploring contemporary iterations of celadon practices. This traditional method, invented in China 3,500 years ago to imitate the color of jade, is omnipresent among ceramic sculptures shown in contemporary museums and galleries. Celadon is an exciting start-off point for ceramic artists, who use this tech- nique to express vivid shades and tenors.


Ceramic spheres investigate the potential of the coil technique and barium glaze. Different contraction properties between a celadon slip and what lies beneath result in subtle cracks in Kawase Shinobu’s sculptures, revealing the different faces of imperfection and control with aplomb. Kawase is renowned for distill- ing natural forms into minimal expressions, seen in Incense Burner (2008). This lotus bud is about to bloom, resting on a serene celadon platform and creating a tranquil effect. Japan’s ceramic artists master tradition to form con- temporary realities.


Through her unique position in this rich field of artmaking, Director Beatrice Chang has traveled throughout Japan researching, writ- ing about, and cultivating relationships with the artists included in Kind of Blue. While some individuals may be found in Chang’s book Fired with Passion: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics, others like SAKAEGI Masatoshi 栄木正敏 (1944- ) have joined Dai Ichi Arts more recently. Those exhibited include KAWASE Shinobu 川 瀬 忍 (1950-), SUZUKI Sansei 鈴木三成 (1936- ), KINO Satoshi 木野 智 史 (1987-), FUKAMI Sueharu 深 見 陶 治 (1947- ), SUHAMA Tomoko 須浜智子 (1961- ), and KATO Tsubusa 加藤委 (1962- ), whose work testifies to why celadon is a must for contemporary collections and contemporary practitioners. 


This exhibition also presents artists who use ceramic techniques to push the boundaries between different disciplines and traditions. SUZUKI Osamu 鈴 木 治 (1926-2001), a founding member of the iconic Sodeisha Group, was one of the earliest proponents of ceramic sculpture crossing over from functional objects into purely artistic expressions. His platter Boat was created in the late 1970s, the height of SUZUKI’s career. Five abstract boats float among dancing waves, which spill off the plate with SUZUKI’s pinched and un- even edges. YONEHARA Shinji 米 原 眞 司 (1961- ) is Dai Ichi’s first glass artist, who expands this creative realm by applying ceramic techniques to glass.