Onta Ware Olive Color Jug
size: Diameter : 7.3" Height: 10.2"
Age: Showa Period (1950-1970)
Onta is located in the heart of Hita city in Oita prefecture. Since the Edo period, the potters of Onta produced simple ceramics used in daily life. By the Meiji period, new tools helped to create the engraved designs on plates and bowls, a signature style only seen in Onta wares. By the late 20th century, the English potter Bernard Leach visited Onta to see the process and study the aesthetics that these potters inherited. As an appreciation for their generosity, Leach taught the potters the technique of adding handles to ceramic objects as seen in this jug. It only with Onta wares can one see the heritage and skills passed on from Bernard Leach to current potters at Onta.
Chinese Literati Calligraphy and Landscape
Landscape attributing to Shen Zhou
Late Qing Period
Size: 44.4cm x 162cm or 17.4" x 63.7"
Shen Zhou was a noted Ming Dynasty literati scholar and painter. His flowing mountains and serene landscapes became the fundamental style for many literati painters during the late Ming and Qing dynasties. The work may have been an album piece and was mounted on a scroll. The top half has an inscription in relation to the landscape.
民國代八破画 Chinese Bapo Painting
55.5cm x 183cm or 21.8" x 72"
Recent scholarship has taken interest in the subject matter of bapo, often translated as multitude of broken images. Many of these works are not collages of different images but a painting of a collage of different images. These so-called collages often depicted printed, painted, and classical materials. These works were produced during the end of the Qing Dynasty onwards to the end of the Republic period.
Landscape of Pine and Waterfall set in the Ravines
Ike Taiga (1723-1776)
Box inscription by Mizuta Chikuho (1883-1958) and letter inscribed by Taigado Sadasuke (1839-1910)
Ike Taiga, along with Oda Kaisen, Aoki Mokubei, Ike no Gyokuran, Yosa Buson, Sakaki Hyakusen, etc. were the major artists in the long line of literati painters which branches off to the Nanga school tradition later in Japanese art history. Ike Taiga and most artists contemporary to his period were inspired by Chinese paintings imported to Japan through Nagasaki during the 17th and 18th centuries. Many of the works were Ming and early Qing literati paintings and the Japanese artists studied their techniques. Additionally, the Kangxi and Qianlong editions of the Mustard Seed Manual furthered their studies and the influx of the educated elite Chinese immigrating to Japan when the Ming dynasty fell in the mid 17th century.
Mountain motif Tea Bowl
Diameter: 5.25" height: 3"
Contemporary yet retaining an aura from the past. This tea bowl evokes a memory from the Momoyama period with works done in the Oribe, Mino, and Shino kilns where the uneven and natural shapes were revolutionary to the tradition of ceramics, changing and writing a new chapter for Japanese ceramics. The work is done by Takahashi Genki, a contemporary ceramic artist.
Chuang Tzu Sweets Tray
9"x 9"x 1"
The philosopher, Chuang Tzu was known for his contemplative stories and philosophy on life. One legend of Chuang Tzu describes where he was asleep and contemplated if the dream he had of a butterfly. He questioned of the dual realities if he was in the dream of the human form or if his dream of being a butterfly was reality. This philosophy, in some ways, relates with the modern theories in theoretical physics with certain dimensions and worlds.
Natsume ( Tea Caddy ) made from Kuwa (Mulberry Wood)
Diameter : 2.5" height: 2.5"
Tea caddies are often perceived as being made from a wooden core and lacquered is coated on the caddy. However, there are other caddies that retain the wooden form, giving a separate aesthetic quality. Often, these wooden caddies are made from black persimmon, Chinese hardwoods, or fine Japanese woods.
Incense Container in the form of a Koma or Top
Work emulating an original design by Nakamura Sotetsu, one of the artists, purveyor to the Sen Families
Size: Diameter : 3.25" height: 2"
The form of the koma, or the top like shape is the symbol of the Sen family which was also a symbol that the family was closely associated with the Toyotomi shogunate. The tradition began with the Ashikaga Shoguns giving their insignia to their top artists. Rikyu's grandfather, Tanaka Soami served the Ashikaga clan and over the different rulers, inherited different marks as symbols of their associations.
As time went on, the symbol of the top became a key motif in different tea objects representing the tradition and history of the various schools of tea.
Monochrome Painting of Bamboo
Okuhara Seiko (1837-1913)
Size: Height 33.2" Width 8.8"
Okuhara Seiko was part of the mainly male dominated school of Nanga and Literati paintings. Born as a daughter of a samurai from the Mito region, Seiko independently studied Ming and Qing literati paintings where she came across Fei Qinghu, a Chinese literati painter who immigrated to Japan around the 1780-1790 period and used his name Qinghu, as her artist name. Seiko continued to adopt elements from Dong Qichang and Mi Fu creating an independent style unlike the works seen with the more famous literati artists such as the Tanomura line or other schools. Seiko was working during the Meiji period where the changing tastes of Meiji Japan affected traditional schools of paintings. However, the revolutionaries took note of her persistence and boldness and a few became patrons of her works. Later in life, Seiko became noted for her knowledge and skills in painting and poetry that she had accepted many students. Seiko even allowed women to board in her studio, noting that women should have an opportunity receive an education.
In the U.S., Okuhara Seiko's independent and cross gender roles are welling up new narratives and appreciation for her efforts. Sources:
Bizen Ware Katatsuki Chaire
Period: Momoyama to Edo Period
Size: height 4" diameter 2.3"
The bold lines and rough structure has been one of the few key aspects of Momoyama period tea ceramics. Examples ranging from Raku tea bowls to Oribe mukozuke dishes used for kaiseki contain an aura, only found in Japan, yet appeals even to modern audiences.
This Bizen tea container is thought to be made during this interesting period. The rough terra cotta-like body is formed from the soil of the region and the firing process. Depending on how light shines on the piece, the tea container has elements similar to a rare form of Bizen known as blue Bizen.
The work comes from a Los Angeles collection of a former technical producer who worked in major Hollywood productions and the piece was displayed in LACMA during the 1990s in the Japanese Pavilion.