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Living National Treasure Yamamoto Toshu Bizen Yohen Chawan

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Directory: Artists: Ceramics: Pottery: Bowls: Pre 2000: Item # 1432324

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A most unusual tea bowl charred black on one side which emenates a golden glow on the raw earth opposite, by Bizen living national Treasure Yamamoto Toshu enclosed in the original signed double wood storage box titled Bizen Yohen Chawan (Kiln Altered Tea bowl) with silk wrapping cloth. The beauty of kiln altered works is that they are quite often entirely unique. Something unexpected that occurred inside the kiln during the firing or cooling process, that caused a deviation from the norm or expected result. Yohen is in fact a bit unusual in Bizen ware, and I have never seen another like this particular bowl, with its shimmering golden reflection. Unfortunately the ephemeral effect is very difficult to capture on the camera. It is 5 inches (13 cm) diameter, and in excellent condition.
Yamamoto Toshu (1906-1994) began working in a pottery at the age of 15. 12 years later (1933) he went independent, but interestingly decided to train again later not under a Bizen master, but Kusube Yaichi, perhaps stimulating his unusual eye for Bizen. After much acclaim, it was in 1959 that he made his worldwide appearance, with a gold prize at the Brussels World Exposition, and was named an important cultural property of Okayama that same year. He was most in love with the wheel, and his forms are crisp and sharp. He was named a living national Treasure in 1987. Works by the artist are held in the National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo and National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto as well as the Victoria Albert Museum among many others. For more on this important artist sea the recent exhibition: The Bizen, at the Miho Museum in Shiga prefecture, in which a number of this artists’ works were featured.