From Jomon pottery dating back to 10,000 BCE to the 1920’s Mingei movement and into contemporary 21st century ceramics, Japanese pottery has played a significant role in shaping American ceramics. Terms like wabi-sabi, raku, and anagama have become common vocabulary in the ceramics field, and artists of all kinds study chanoyu and Ikebana. Craft and process, which are so integral to the apprenticeship tradition in Japan, have become paramount for young ceramicists studying with traditional potters across the United States.

Showcasing some of the best contemporary Japanese and Japanese American ceramic artists in the country is only one curatorial focus of this 2016 exhibition. We hope viewers will come away with a greater appreciation of how, despite the many individual approaches, the artists’ connections to Japan have a profound impact on what they create with clay and why they create it. Michi literally means “road,” but it can signify “path,” “way,” “history,” or “story.” Although each ceramicist’s michi is distinct and personal, the artists share common ground in terms of design, aesthetics, and concepts that stem from their Japanese heritage.

– Yoshi Fujii & Juliane Shibata, co-curators





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