Emerging from the Mashiko scene in Togichi during the early 70s, TAKAUCHI Shugo (b. 1937) came into his craft fame when he was selected in 1972 for the Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition. His understanding of Kogei philosophies foregrounds his mastery over a range of glaze types. He has exhibited at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, created works dedicated to his Buddhist practice at the Yakushiji Temple in Nara, and held multiple solo exhibitions at Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi and Takashimaya. Internationally, his work is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art and more.
Despite this outstanding repertoire, Takauchi has lived an unconventional life as a potter. He worked as a salaryman in corporate Tokyo before moving to Mashiko to build his own kiln with both gas and wood firing in 1968 after having been inspired by the work of Hamada Shoji. This unconventional background has afforded him the ability to ignore the stylistic regionalism that binds Kogei styles found in the ceramic art industry during the 40s to 70s. He has mastered a wide range of glazes. This piece shows his mastery and exploration of a much loved glaze from the Mino region: Oribe-yaki.
In this Oribe water jar with handle, he has adopted a more serious, geometric interpretation of the decorative styles of Oribe, which tend towards playfulness and levity (such as the work of Suzuki Goro). Towards the jar’s flat base, an image suggests a rising round red moon eclipsed by darkened clouds, recalling the motifs of water that the jar is intended to carry in its body. This dark patterning and invocation of rain in the image of storm clouds is complemented by the undulating tones of light and dark green that drip down the surface of the straight and sturdy torso of the jar. The piece articulates observations of an evening rain.
The jar is enclosed with its original signed wooden box, and a signature at the base.