Japan: Art and Its Essence

Japan: Art and Its Essence

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 12. Kuroda Taizo (1946-2021) | Porcelain flower vase .

Property from an Important Private Collection

Kuroda Taizo (1946-2021) | Porcelain flower vase

Lot Closed

July 26, 01:12 PM GMT


12,000 - 18,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from an Important Private Collection 

Kuroda Taizo (1946-2021)

Porcelain flower vase 

white unglazed porcelain vase, impressed mark to the foot, fitted wood storage box (tomobako), signed in Japanese and in Roman script Taizo, with artist's two red seals, inscribed Hakuji hanaire (White porcelain flower vase), dated in pencil Kuroda 06 (2006)

52 cm., 20½ in, high (the vase)

58 x 14.2 x 14.5 cm., 22⅞ x 5⅝ x 5¾ in. (the fitted wood storage box)

Yoshii Gallery, New York

Throughout its history, porcelain production in Japan has been somewhat synonymous with purity and perfection. The unglazed porcelain surfaces replete with the asymmetrical, warm and tactile qualities of Kuroda Taizo’s work challenge this notion. Kuroda is one of the most important Japanese contemporary ceramicists of the twentieth and twenty-first century. Born in 1946, Kuroda began his study of ceramics in Canada in the 1970s, returning to Japan in 1981. He soon completed an apprenticeship with Shimaoka Tatsuzo (1919-2007), a key potter of the Mingei movement who was later designated a Living National Treasure of Japan (Ningen kokuho). In 1991, Kuroda built his home and studio in Futo, Izu Peninsula and began making high-fired unglazed (yakishime) white porcelain approximately a year later, besotted by the purity of Korean Joseon dynasty porcelain wares. These undecorated vessels with a strong preoccupation with form belie the technicality necessary in their execution: although seemingly simple at first glance, pure white porcelain clay is difficult to produce by hand and to throw on the potter’s wheel. The perfection of Kuroda's forms is testament to his consummate skill as a ceramicist.

The medium and material are deeply tied to his unique expression of form, space and simplicity. In the artist’s own words ‘what I am ultimately looking for is a perfect space. I am not ready yet to make such a form, however. With a wheel, it is possible to make a piece that is almost perfect, but I cannot allow myself to do that yet’. How Kuroda's works interact with their surroundings, their placement and their shadows also become vital to their display and appreciation.