Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I am quite a fan of the Rimpa influenced Shino works of the Mino master, Wakao Toshisada, but I have to say there is something rather elemental and subtle, even serene in his more traditional works like the illustrated chawan. Having a strong Momoyama influence, this gently tapering Nezumi-Shino chawan has a magnificent shiro-enso (white circle) on the face which dominates the omote and gathers the viewer in to the bowl. The textured surface has small "cells" of glaze which lets iron peek through, painting a soft landscape on which the purity of the white clay shows through to dominate the ceramic canvas. Wakao has made tremendous use of the negative space on the surface which is subtly articulated by glaze texture and form, acting as a vehicle for the central device of the pot much like a great scroll painting though in three dimensions as only a master potter could achieve. The sheer simplicity of the decoration creates a chawan of exceptional clarity and the strength of form brings to mind a bowl that great chajin would have gladly competed for during a time long ago forgotten.

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