Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Illustrated is a large tsubo by Oribe specialist, Usui Kazunari. Best known for his Oribe works with incised and inlaid decoration this bold tsubo is covered in a rich surface which is incised in a complicated repeat decoration that surrounds the pot and creates waves of continuous motion. Though the form is simple, the execution and articulation of the surface presents a kaleidoscopic array of geometric pattern making for a fascinating and even playful vessel which is at the very heart of the origins of Oribe. For a good portion of his working career, Usui focused on pots covered in a rich green Oribe glaze but over time his work has shifted to pots with areas of exposed, incised and inlaid engobes with areas or bands of glaze with some of these pots having no glazed surface at all. Usui Kazunari, like Yanagihara Mutsuo, is pushing the boundaries and definitions of what exactly is Oribe making for a unique dialogue between the past, present and future of this versatile tradition.

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