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On display on Level 1

Kanjiro KAWAI

Yasugi, Japan 1890 – Kyoto, Japan 1966

24 August, 1890 – 18 November, 1966

Vase c.1959 Place made: Gojozaka, Kyoto, Kinki, Kyoto prefecture, Japan
Materials & Technique: ceramics, vases stoneware, stoneware, glazed

Dimensions: 24.0 h x 22.0 w x 11.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2011
Accession No: NGA 2011.985

The rectangular form and square neck of this vase is characteristic of the work that Kanjiro Kawai developed during the 1940s and 1950s. The single blossom outlined in slip and glaze on its side shows this potter’s assured hand in the application of decoration as calligraphic gesture. It combines a visual stillness with assured gesture that resonates with Kawai’s lifetime commitment to the poetry of the physical. After 1945 Kawai’s interest in science and engineering stimulated him to working towards the industrialised series production of ceramics with the characteristics of handmade wares, more widely popularising styles that had fallen from fashion.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2016
Author: Dr Robert Bell AM - Senior Curator Decorative Arts and Design