Wednesday, August 19, 2015


It is amazing what a few years and some simple advancements in technology can make on the ability to capture an image, from camera obscura to advanced megapixel sensors, technology never stands still. Not long ago I was fortunate enough to handle a very nice Kawai Kanjiro chawan for study and took quite a few photos and detail shots; the form and foot are classic and the glaze and decoration is rich and crisp showing off the best of what Kawai created in a small and simple space. While flipping through and older issue of the magazine THE MINGEI, I spotted a very similar bowl which was photographed in black and white for the publication and combined the two images to get a sense of the photographic renderings, past and present. At first glance it is easy to say the modern, digital photo is a much better representation of the bowl but I still think there are things that B&W photo has that are of value, it presents a much more focused fa├žade of the bowl as well as shadow lines and certain details that don't immediately jump out in the color photo. All in all, I'll go with the modern photo and thanks to digital photography it is easy to take literally hundreds of photos which capture all of the nuances and details that make the chawan a total object. I can only image how archaic these modern images will look when we start taking 3-D and holographic renderings of objects in the not so distant future.

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