Monday, February 21, 2011


Illustrated is a dramatic Hagi chawan with an eccentric enso painted on the front. The vivid Hagi keshiki makes a wonderful ground for the elliptical format enso painted by Buddhist priest Shimizu Kosho (1911-1999). The chawan was made by legendary Hagi potter, Tahara Tobei XII (1925-1991) who has left an exceptional body of work, this certainly being a highlight.

Shimizu Kosho was prolific and diverse artist, known for his wonderful calligraphies and paintings; he also made sculpture in various medium and painted on a large number of pottery, many made by master potters of the day as in this example. Shimizu was for a short while the abbot of the Todai-ji in Nara (1975-1981). This chawan is a typical and masterful collaboration between two artists who have transcended their art and materials. The dark enso against the multi-toned Hagi glaze makes for a lyrical and majestic piece.