Wednesday, December 2, 2015


When I first saw this photo I immediately thought of some far off geometry lesson cloaked in a filter of green glass; it reminded me of the doodling I did in high school instead of concentrating on the subject at hand. There is a sense of geometry to much of the work of Usui Kazunari (b.1954) and this futamono covered box shows a pristine attention to detail that goes well beyond precision to create a piece that is immediately visually engaging and contemplative. Born and trained in Seto  and studying under Kato Shunto, Kazunari studied at the Nagoya University of Art before establishing his own studio in 1984 and has had a splendid career focused on a modern interpretation of Oribe with surface decoration that specializes in incised and inlay work. Using crisp incised lines and areas of inlaid color, the surface shares a wealth of color that communicates like a modern day artistic rendering of a mathematical fractal. If one were to simple describe his pots they could easily come across as technical exercises but when you see the finished piece nothing could be farther from the truth.