I received the news that my “Cosmos” Horsehair Plate won an honorable mention in the prominent competition of International Ceramics Festival ’08 Mino in Japan! The exhibition will be from August 1 – September 30, 2008 in the museum of the Ceramics Park Mino, Tajimi City, Japan.
I like my little corners in my house in Japan. And a month ago I got some goddess statues from Kusakabe-san. Just beautiful!
A goddess statue in the hallway before you enter our main room on the 3rd floor with a little wood fired vase, fired in Euan’s kiln.
On a small shelf near an old scroll, with a bird on a rock Sumie brush painting, stand three statues with my Karatsu vase.
The goddesses a little more up-close.
The Mingei International Museum collects, preserves and exhibits arts of daily life from all cultures of the world. These are objects made by hand for use rather than intentionally as art like paintings and sculpture.
A great philospher of Japan, Soetsu Yanagi, early in the 20th century used the word “mingei”, which means literally “everyone’s art”, to point out the timeless beauty of such objects in cultures of both East and West. He emphasized the importance, for the health of post-industrial societies, of people’s being surrounded still by useful objects in their daily lives that are creative expressions of the whole person-head, heart and hands.
Dr. Yanagi encouraged people to look with fresh eyes at common objects in their surroundings, to discover beauty where it is unexpected and to be inspired to uncover and express their own, innate creativity.
This museum has formed a collection of mingei that now comprises 17,000 objects from 141 countries.
Martha Longenecker founded the museum in 1978. She first visited Japan in 1962 and during a 4 month period and being a potter herself, worked and met with Hamada Shoji, Tatsuzo Shimaoka, Soetsu Yanagi and Kanjiro Kawai and also the English potter Bernard Leach.
Pottery artwork by Tatsuzo Shimaoka.
Shiko Munakata watercolor painting on handmade paper.
Wooden bench designed by George Nakashima.
Combs from Africa, Japan and USA.
There was a special exhibition of Hungarian Folk Magic: The Art of Joseph Domjan. He is a master of woodblock printmaking. He used oil paint for his woodcuts and created a captivating world filled with fantastic and colorful creatures.
Domjan’s art also found expression in the media of tapestry. Such a beautiful colors. Please, click on the image to increase the size.
Last weekend, I visited my oldest son, Roland, in San Diego. It was a great weekend.
I started out with visiting Balboa Park, which is a cultural complex. Besides open areas and natural vegetation, it contains a variety of cultural attractions including museums, theaters, gardens, shops and restaurants as well as the world-renowned San Diego Zoo. Balboa Park has been declared a National Historic Landmark.
One of the gardens.
The weekend before I would leave Japan again, my husband and I went to Kusakabe-san, who lives in Miharu. This means “three spring”: the plum- “ume”, the peach- “momo” and cherry “sakura” blossom. The sakura was about to come out and the color here is pink instead of white in the Tokyo area.
A beautiful Sakura tree at one of the shrines.
A delicious lunch.
A friend performed a tea ceremony.
His kiln site with 5 kilns.
His studio is in an old wonderful farmhouse and has great decorations made by Kuasakabe-san. Those are some sumie brushpaintings on some shoji screens.
A big clay mask in the yard.
Goddess statues with planets.
A beautiful painting of the Virgin Mary with Child surrounded by planets and stars in which he also has a very big interest.
The sign to his studio and telescope tower.
Thank you, Kusakabe-san, for the wonderful weekend.