SUBLIME BEAUTY: Korean Ceramics from a Private Collection
Online Auction: 15–22 September 2022 • 10:00 AM EDT • New York

SUBLIME BEAUTY: Korean Ceramics from a Private Collection 15–22 September 2022 • 10:00 AM EDT • New York

L ovingly assembled by a private collector over the course of 40 years, this collection embodies the refined and subtle elegance so closely associated with Korean works of art. The present sale comprises over 20 lots of ceramics and lacquer that span over 800 years of history. Highlights include superb Goryeo dynasty celadons, striking buncheong wares, a luminous late 17th/early 18th Joseon dynasty moon jar, charming blue and white ceramics, and a rare 16th century Joseon period mother-of-pearl-inlaid lacquer box and cover.

This collection also includes two Korean gilt-bronze Buddhist figures, offered in the live auction Dharma & Tantra on 20th September 2022, lots 140 and 141.

A foreword by Toshiya Fujiwara, Riseido Art Gallery, Tokyo and Osaka

This private collection was formed by a man who, fueled by a deep-rooted passion for the arts, devoted his life to collecting art.

Hailing from a humble background, he built his business enterprise from scratch, but his pursuit to collect great art began in his childhood. Growing up, he often noticed reproductions of Millet and Corot paintings hung up on the wall. His ambition was to someday acquire an authentic masterpiece. As his business grew, the size and the quality of his collection grew as well. The collection not only includes Korean works of art, but also ranges in scope from Western Impressionist and Barbizon school paintings to Japanese paintings and swords. In each category, the collector showcases his profound connoisseurship.

When he encountered the Korean ceramics in the Ataka Collection, now housed in the Museum of Oriental Ceramics in Osaka, he was impressed and moved by their beauty. This experience encouraged him to continue collecting art with even greater fervor.

Korean works of art represent the most important part of the entire collection, and comprises ceramics, Buddhist art, paintings, and other artworks. It is probably one of the most important private collections of Korean art in Japan. The collector’s connoisseurship has superseded that of most art professionals, and thanks to his experienced eye, he was able to form an exceptional collection. He never missed an opportunity to acquire pieces not only of aesthetic value, but also of historical importance.

His goal was to collect Korean works of art dispersed across Europe, America, and Japan, and ultimately to build a museum to display and preserve his collection. The pieces presented here give viewers an opportunity to recognize and appreciate the universal beauty of Korean ceramics once again.

This collector spent over 40 years assembling the collection with a loving heart. I hope this previously unseen collection of top Korean ceramics and works of art will be passed down for generations.


한국미술 개인 컬렉션—유구의 시간을 거쳐—

이 개인 컬렉션은 어렸을 때부터 미술을 각별히 여겨왔을 뿐 아니라 뛰어난 안목을 가진 인물이 전 생애에 걸쳐 수집한 것이다. 그는 자신의 재능을 본업에서도 유감없이 발휘하여 사업을 크게 확장했는데, 이에 따라 그 수집활동 역시 질적 및 양적으로 확대해 나갔다.

이 컬렉션의 특징은 한국미술 뿐만 아니라 인상파나 바르비종파를 비롯한 서양회화, 일본회화, 도검에 이르기까지 범위가 넓은 점에 있는데, 이는 상술한 대로 수집가의 박식과 재능이 유감없이 발휘된 결과이다. 컬렉션 중에서도 특히 바르비종파 작품은 어렸을 때 우연히 보게 된 밀레, 코로의 복제화에 충격을 받아 언젠가 진품을 입수하고자 다짐한 것이 수집의 동기라고 한다. 일찍부터 해외에서까지 이 컬렉션의 대여 요청이 자주 들어왔는데 이는 바르비종파 소장품이 개인적 차원을 넘어 세계적으로 평가받고 있다는 것을 대변한다.

한편 이번에 공개되는 컬렉션의 백미인 한국미술의 경우, 불교미술, 도자기, 회화, 공예 등 광범위한 장르를 총망라하여 수집된 것으로, 개인 컬렉션으로서는 국내에서 손에 꼽히는 수준이라고 해도 과언이 아닐 것이다. 수집가의 타고난 안목은 한국미술 분야에서도 전문가를 능가하여 규모뿐 아니라 수준에 있어서도 지극히 정선된 컬렉션으로서 타의 추종을 불허한다.

이와 같은 한국미술품 컬렉션의 형성은 1980년대에 아타카(安宅) 컬렉션에 감명을 받은 것이 계기로, 구미나 일본 국내 곳곳에 있는 한국미술품이 산일되지 않게끔 수집을 시작하였으며, 궁극적으로는 일반에 널리 작품을 공개할 수 있는 미술관의 건립을 목적으로 한 것이었다.

이번 컬렉션의 공개를 통해 그 아름다움과 우아함에 있어 다시금 국제적으로 평가를 공고히 할 것이 기대된다. 한 개인이 40년 이상 걸쳐 수집한 혼신의 컬렉션, 한국 고미술의 수준을 자랑하는 최고 작품들의 이야기가 영원히 계승되기를 바란다.

RISEIDO ART GALLERY 후지와라 토시야(藤原 俊哉)

Blue and White

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