Yesterday, I went with my friends Lara and Presila to the exposition of Bernard Leach In the Takashimaya store in Tokyo. This exhibition celebrates his life 125 years after his birth and is a reflection on the significance of Leach’s life as a “bridge between East and West” regarding his pottery and many paintings/etchings/drawings.
He lived from January 5 1997 – May 6, 1979.
He was born in Hong Kong and brought up in the Far East. His father was a colonial judge in Hong Kong and his maternal grandparents were missionaries in Japan. As a young man he studied etching at the London School of Art before settling in Japan where he became fascinated with pottery and studied under the great master Kenzan. befriended a young potter named Shoji Hamada. With Hamada, he set up the Leach Potter at St.Ives, Cornwall in 1920, including the construction of a traditional Japanese wood burning kiln. The two of them promoted pottery as a combination of Western and Eastern arts and philosophies. In their work they focused on traditional Korean, Japanese and Chinese potteyr, in combination with traditional techniques from England and Germany, such as slipware and salt glaze ware. They saw pottery as a combination of art, philosophy, design and craft – even as a greater lifestyle.
We had a great time to see so many wonderful art works from such a master and feel inspired by him.