So, this is part 2 of the masterpiece pottery of Tsukinowa Yusen.
Glazed and Unglazed Yusen
And we’ll finish up our look at glazed and unglazed Yusen with this rustic rectangle with cut feet, from the collection of my friend Matt Ouwinga, of Kaede Bonsai En. Really nice rustic texture to the clay.
Of the many potters Yusen collaborated with, none are seen more often, or are more interesting, than Yusen pots painted by Seifu Yohei. The above pot is characteristic of Yohei’s painting style, with broad, rough brushstrokes that create interesting landscapes. Yohei’s work is often dark and almost gothic in style, totally different from the light and airy style of Yusen.
A rare and interesting collaborative pot between Yusen and Kutani Ikko, in 5 color overglaze enamel. I have a post in the works dedicated to Kutani Ikko, so we won’t go into too much detail here, except to say that given Ikko’s extremely detailed and realistic contemporary work, this must be early work indeed!
Yusen Homage Pots
Many painters of the contemporary era idolize Yusen, and it’s not uncommon to see pots that are copies of famous Yusen.
A Yusen with similar landscape designs.
A Yusen for comparison.
I could write about and show examples of Yusen homage pots all day, as he is the most influential painter of the modern era, but for now we’ll move on.
Shohin Bonsai in Yusen Pots
I’ll have to apologize for the quality of images here, these trees all appear in multiple tree displays, so the individual image quality isn’t that high, then you compound that with my clumsy fingers, well, anyway, you get the drift.
It’s not uncommon, yet still rare, to see pines in white pots. Pines in painted white pots is another story. Here is a textbook example of the “dignity of the tree in balance with the dignity of the pot. Something we in the west should note as a concept far far more!
Kinzu, or Dwarf Japanese Wild Kumquat, all in semicascade style. The orange citrus contrasts well with the paintings in the Yusens, and the white of the porcelain provides a good counter for the bright green leaves.
Mini Kusamono in thimble sized Yusens.
So, that’s a pretty good selection of Shohin Bonsai in Yusen pots. Despite the rarity of Yusen pots, in any given year at Gafu Ten, 3-15 will be on display, either with trees or as solo displays.
In Conclusion, it’s easy to see why Yusen pots are so coveted and expensive! Beauty in and of themselves, beautiful with trees, and rarity all combine to make Yusen pots the pinnacle of any collectors’ shelves! As a send off, let’s take a look at a couple more painted Yusen:
An ultra rare Yusen vase. The craftsmanship to the vase is extraordinary, and the painting itself is perhaps some of the most detailed of Yusen’s work I’ve seen(perhaps because of its size?). While many things are striking about the scene on the vase, what I like most is the reflection of the landscape in the lake.
Front and detail of a Hatanaka Book Yusen owned by Matt Ouwinga. I really love this pot, it’s an excellent example of Yusen’s masterful style, from the characteristic paintings to the signature style footbase.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing this two part article on the masterful pottery and paintings of Tsukinowa Yusen. For more on Yusen, check out “Charisma”, a pottery porn lovers extravaganza featuring the works of Yusen and Kouzan. You can order it from Yoshoen, found on the links page!
Up next, Takao Koyo and Kutani Ikko!
Thanks for reading!