Japan: Art and Its Essence

Japan: Art and Its Essence

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 8. Tsujimura Shiro (b. 1947) | Large storage jar.

Property from an Important Private Collection

Tsujimura Shiro (b. 1947) | Large storage jar

Lot Closed

July 26, 01:08 PM GMT


8,000 - 10,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from an Important Private Collection

Tsujimura Shiro (b. 1947)

Large storage jar

oviform, the whitish stoneware body tapering towards the irregularly shaped foot, with dripped natural ash green glazes, fitted wood storage box (tomobako), signed Shiro, sealed Shi, inscribed Shizen yu otsubo (Large jar with natural ash glaze)

62 cm., 24½ in. high (the jar)

53 x 52 x 52 cm., 20⅞ x 20½ x 20½ in. (the fitted wood storage box)

Koichi Yanagi

A highly regarded giant of contemporary Japanese pottery, Tsujimura Shiro established himself as a ceramicist with a deep understanding of traditional forms that are both reverent and unique. Internationally recognised, Tsujimura was entirely self-taught, identifying the aesthetics of tea ceremony ceramics as his guide. His profound works are strongly inspired by the ceramic expressions codified in the Momoyama period (1568-1600), as well as the medieval works produced from the Six Ancient Kilns (Rokkoyo), but his repertoire is wide ranging extending to revival Joseon Korean wares.

Born in Gose in Nara Prefecture, the artist initially studied oil painting techniques during courses in Tokyo. In 1965, Tsujimura was awestruck by a Korean Ido tea bowl that he encountered when visiting the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum (Mingeikan), established by the philosopher and founder of the Mingei movement, Soetsu Yanagi (1889-1961).

Tsujimura’s lifestyle reflects his self-sufficient approach to his craft – together with his wife, they built their own home together in an isolated mountain area in Nara Prefecture: they produce their own vegetables and forage wild grasses and mushrooms. Tsujimura uses his own earth for his clay and creates his own fires, creating wares that embody nature itself and a deep longing to return to it. Despite his humble living and philosophy, Tsujimura has garnered wide international renown and his work has been exhibited extensively with innumerable solo exhibitions both domestically and in the West. A retrospective was held at the Chado Museum, Kyoto in 1999. Gallery exhibitions include Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Kanaal, Antwerp, Koichi Yanagi, Oriental Fine Arts, and Ippodo Gallery, Tokyo.

Public collections include the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Freer Gallery of Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum (The V&A).