Born in 1940, Shigetoshi Yamada makes and paints pots under the trade name Shun(俊). He started creating bonsai as a hobby in 1975, and first began making pottery at a Fuji City Museum pottery class in 1992. By 1995 he was in full scale production of handmade pots. He’s been featured multiple times at the Gafu Ten exhibition of small bonsai pot artists. Today we’ll take a look at some of his work. Now, on to the Pots!
These two images come from the 2011 and 2012 Gafu Ten Kobachi exhibition. A good cross section of his work, which is varied and includes multiple styles of painting, in addition to porcelain relief carving.
Two sides detail of the figure painted cascade featured at the Exhibition. The figure painting is detailed and there is also a very nice use of traditional geometrics. The style feels very old school to me, like old scroll paintings(that’s a good thing!).
Detail of the celadon porcelain relief pot featured at one of the exhibitions. It’s rare to see a potter who is as skilled with the brush as with the knife, the short list includes notables Sano Daisuke and Yusen. The relief is very well carved, and shows great depth in a medium where that is a challenge!
A sometsuke footed oval painted with waterscape and boat. Very richly detailed with interesting and rather heavy handed brushwork in the foreground, and delicate brushwork to the far mountains, creating an interesting depth.
A lipped semi cascade square with painted landscape. It’s pretty rare to see a window landscape surrounded with sometsuke, if you you look closely you can see that the entire pot is painted with the same underglaze enamel used in the landscape. The landscape is more delicately painted than the above pot, though the same use of heavy and light brushwork creates the same depth. An interesting contrast in style.
A five color footed rectangle with dragon figure. Very spartan use of color, which serves as a great accent, brightening up an otherwise drab blue with splashes of yellow. I’ve seen this same dragon painted by Ranzan, Shunka Shozan, and several other painters; I assume they are copies of a famous scroll painting, but haven’t pinned down the original.
Two sides of a celadon porcelain pot with Ume and sparrow. Interesting that the opposite sides have such a different feel: heavy and light. The gold overglaze enamel details to the Ume flowers are a great touch! Another piece that is very strongly reminiscent of old Chinese and Japanese scroll paintings.
Multiple views of a round cascade fully painted with an interesting and rather fleeting dragon. Clearly earlier work, this pot must have been in use every day for the last 20 or less years to get a patina like that on porcelain! The painting itself is delicate and suggestive, and many of the details bring to my mind the wave painting style of Katsushita Hokusai.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s look at the work of contemporary painter and potter Shigetoshi Yamada! Up next: Pots from My Collection and Antique Chinese Pots. Thanks for reading!