Bernard Leach Exposition Tokyo


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.
Leach advocated simple and utilitarian forms. His pots stand in opposition to what he called “fine art pots”, which promoted aesthetic concerns rather than function. Popularized in the 1940s after the publication of his “Potter’s Book”, his style had lasting influence on sub-culture and modern design in North America during the 1950s and 1960s.
Many potters from all over the world were apprenticed at the Leach Pottery, and spread Leach’s style and beliefs.

We had a great time to see so many wonderful art works from such a master and feel inspired by him.
At the side was a great sales show from a collection of contemporary crafts from all over Japan. So many beautiful and finely made crafts. You feel the care and attention they give in creating their work. Such a nice addition to the Bernard Leaches exhibition.


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