Kondo Takahiro works on creating a vessel
Inochi no Utsuwa
at Joan B Mirviss LTD for Asia Week New York 2012
Available works now on view at the gallery.
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March 11, 2011 is a date now permanently in our memories as the day a major earthquake and tsunami devastated coastal northeastern Japan. In tribute to those affected by last year’s events, JOAN B. MIRVISS LTD will be offering for purchase during Asia Week New York 2012 affordable ceramics from KONDO TAKAHIRO’S initial firing from his project “Inochi no utsuwa.” All proceeds will go directly to the non-profit organization Mizumori no sato (Shichikashuku), an environmental education organization based in Miyagi Prefecture whose activities directly support locally affected areas and communities.
The emotional weight of this national tragedy reached every person in Japan, whether or not they were directly affected. One internationally celebrated artist in Kyoto, Kondo Takahiro (b. 1958) has had ties to the Tohoku region for more than a decade. His “Mugen-gama” or Eternal Kiln project began in Miyagi Prefecture in1998 and through it, Kondo began teaching ceramics to the students at the local high school, Nishiyama Gakuin. In the aftermath of these calamities, Kondo visited the area to see how he might help. To his astonishment, both the kiln and the attached 150-year-old barn used as a studio were undamaged. So, as a way to give back to the devastated community, in mid-July 2011 he decided to produce functional vessels using the local clay and firing in the school’s chambered climbing kiln.
Of this project, Kondo comments: “My ability is so minimal in the face of such a disastrous event. So I am seeking wider support both from within and outside Japan in order for this project to continue and expand. My aim is to deliver more utsuwa as vessels of prayer, utsuwa as vessels of culture and utsuwa vessels of life to all the people in need.”
The first firing was completed in October and Kondo plans to continue this project, firing new work semi-annually thereby raising hope, awareness, and funds to aid in the regrowth of this community.