I always look forward to the publication of the pictures and results of the annual
現代小鉢作家展(Modern Small Pot Creators Exhibition). Coinciding with Gafu Ten, the largest Shohin Bonsai show in Japan, in January, the exhibition includes 50 potters chosen by the President of the Japanese Shohin Bonsai Association.
In previous years, the format has included an award for unglazed containers, glazed containers, and painted containers. This year’s format is a little different, and has awards in the same categories in Gold, Silver, and Bronze. I like this format, as simply by being chosen for the exhibition it is recognized that a potter has done outstanding work in the previous year.
Awards this year went to three artists whose work I’ve tauted extensively on the blog, Shunka Shouzan, Shigeru Zyubei, and Takao Koyo, so, it’s nice to see they’re catching up with me over there 😉
To see the potters’ histories and their entries, follow this link:
9th Modern Shohachi Creators Exhibition
My only complaint is that the images published on the website are extremely low resolution, so I dug around for a while for you to find high resolution images of the gold award winners.
On to the Pots!
The Gold award went to Takao Koyo, whose painted pots are beginning to rival some of the best bonsai container painters of all time. For more on Takao Koyo, click here:
Takao Koyo Article on JBP.Net
And the Bronze award went to blog favorite Shunka Shouzan. Having only begun producing painted pots recently, this is pretty exceptional. For more, here:
Painted Pots from Shunka Shouzan
Shunka Shouzan article
I also thought the entries from Shun Ryuzan(俊 龍山), Kutani Ri-Bushi(九谷理節), and Toho(唐峯) were especially nice.
Shun Ryuzan(俊 龍山)
Toho(唐峯), a former student who also made countless pots to be painted by the late Sano Daisuke. The inlay panel pot is exceptional, and the carved pots as well. An excellent entry showing variety and excellence in every container skill: unglazed clay work, carving, glaze work, and panting.
The gold prize for glazed containers went to blog favorite Shigeru Zyubei. When I first wrote about Zyubei it was nearly 3 years ago, and he was relatively unknown both here and in Japan. Good to see him getting the recognition he deserves! The pot on the left is virtually identical to one in my collection that was a birthday gift from Matt Ouwinga.
The silver award went to famed Satsuki enthusiast and potter Sharaku. I’ve been planning a post on Sharaku for a while now, but examples of his work are hard to come by. The antique mirror style on the right is reminiscent of the best work of Ichinokura Sekisyu, in both style and glaze.
The Gold in unglazed containers was awarded to Shinobu(忍), formerly of the defunct bonsai garden Amemiya-En(雨宮園) in Yamanashi, which now grows….organic grapes. In any case, Excellent variety of shapes, good clay colors, and clean lines. Very nice unglazed containers with little to tool markings.
The bronze prize for unglazed containers was awarded to Toyosen(豊千), a former student of famous potter Hayashi Toujaku. Very simple and rustic designs with nice, and varied, clay showcasing the variety that can be achieved with Shigaraki soil.
Also bearing mention in the category was the entry from Takashi Ono(大矢 忠), who won the grand award for the category in 2011. His excellent carvings and motifs bring to mind the best work Sruga Yamasyou.
Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in acquiring pots from any of the potters featured in this exhibition, feel free to drop me an email, most are readily available!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of the best contemporary Japanese Artists!