Monday, November 14, 2011


Illustrated is a very Rimpa influenced scroll painting and a pottery platter (hachi) by noted potter Wakao Toshisada (b.1933). Born and working in Tajimi, Gifu Prefecture, Toshisada is one of the truly gifted Mino tradition potters and is exceptionally well known for his Rimpa inspired Shino pottery, a style that goes back to the days of Honami Ko’etsu (1558-1637, Tawaraya Sotatsu (d. 1643?), Ogata Kenzan (1163-1743) and his brother Korin (1658-1716). The water color scroll of a Japanese morning glory (ipomoea nil) is reminiscent of paintings by Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828) and his student Suzuki Kiitsu (1766-1858) who is particularly well known for his rendition of morning glories. Though it evokes comparisons to older paintings, anyone familiar with his work can see his hand in the portrayal and in the way the image fills the frame of the scroll as if he was thinking of it as a tray or platter.

This illustration of a ceramic hachi by Wakao shows how closely his paintings and pottery go hand in hand. This vivid Rimpa tray is glazed primarily in Nezumi-Shino with areas of iron slip showing through the glaze and painted gold accents to bring the design to life. It is truly wonderful to be able to see the scroll and pot side by side and get a glimpse into a potter’s creative process. Toshisada’s works are an exceptional addition to the Mino tradition and help usher the Rimpa pottery tradition well into the 21st century.