Back in the mid-80's, my wife and I became acquainted first hand with the works of both Morino Taimei and Miyashita Zenji (1939-2012) through Joan Mirviss in New York; since that time, the two have remained among our favorite non-traditional ceramic artists. Sadly, Miyashita Zenji passed away this year, his absence will certainly leave a void in the field of sculptural ceramics of which he was among the best. The works, based on what would appear to be a simple idea, was an achievement in technical skill as well as a mastery of form. His unique sensibility brought his ceramics into motion, animated with various hues and all of those crisp, torn edges, stacked one on top of another creating a narrative that brings the viewer, round and round the vessel.
Illustrated is a close-up of a vase form by Miyashita Zenji that is like looking into a distant landscape of row after row of mountains at dusk, the starlight barely illuminating the ranges in varying hues of blue. I am reminded of the landscape paintings of Fu Baoshi, though there is so many things one can see in Miyashita's work, the possibilities are endless.
"After you cross the mountain, more mountains." An Indian Proverb