Kawase Shinobu

Flowering Waves of Celadon

March 14 – April 17, 2009

Flaring flower vase in the form of a lily with three pinched points in the rim
2008
Porcelainous stoneware with crackled celadon glaze
10 x 7 3/4"
Inv# 5956

Deep bowl with two attenuated arms and double wave-inspired form
2008
Porcelainous stoneware with celadon glaze
9 1/2 x 10 1/4"
Inv# 5953

Large bowl with asymmetrical undulating rim (b)
2008
Porcelainous stoneware with celadon glaze
5 7/8 x 14"
Inv# 5963

Tall incense burner in the form of a lotus bud atop a lotus leaf plate
2008
Porcelainous stoneware with celadon glaze
5 1/2 x 13 1/2" and 1 x 13"
Inv# 5981

Joan Mirviss and Kawase Shinobu
at the Artist Talk for his exhibition "Flowering Waves of Celadon"

Kawase Shinobu speaking about his forms. Rie Homura translates for the audience.

Chinese painter Liu Dan, Joan Mirviss and Kawase Shinobu

Press Release

Joan B. Mirviss Ltd, one of the world's leading dealers in modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics, is honored to present their second solo show of the celebrated Japanese ceramic artist Kawase Shinobu (b. 1950). Titled "Flowering Waves of Celadon," the exhibition will feature nearly fifty works created specifically for this his second solo show outside of Japan.

Joan B. Mirviss Ltd, one of the world's leading dealers in modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics, is honored to present their second solo show of the celebrated Japanese ceramic artist Kawase Shinobu (b. 1950). Titled "Flowering Waves of Celadon," the exhibition will feature nearly fifty works created specifically for this his second solo show outside of Japan. The theme reflects the artist's close connection with nature together with his mastery of ancient art of Chinese celadon. In Japan, his prominence in the rarified world of artists working in this difficult medium is reflected in his nickname––Seiji Shinobu"––seiji being the Japanese word for celadon. In 1981, he was the youngest ceramist to ever be awarded the prestigious Japan Ceramic Society Prize.

Inspired by the classical ceramics of Song Dynasty China (960-1270), Kawase first discovered celadon glaze when, by chance, he noticed the green tonality produced in the pooling of glaze at the base of a piece of sometsuke, or blue-and-white ware. Subsequently his grandfather, Kawase Chikushun and father, Chikushun II, both potters of blue-and-white and polychrome ware, introduced the young Shinobu to these traditional forms and glazes. Potting by age eighteen, he was soon lured by the Chinese aesthetic to the Palace Museum in Taipei to study firsthand the Song Dynasty masterpieces. There he reveled in dignify, elegance, and cool appearance of the Northern Song celadon vessels. A trip several years later to London brought him to the renowned Percival David Foundation, where he spent four influential days immersed in the beauty of the collection. The interplay between the softness of the clay body and the suppleness of the glaze, together with the clarity of the silhouettes of the vessels, spoke directly to his aesthetic appreciation of the medium.

Since celadon is so difficult to produce and involves a high percentage of firing losses, very few artists in Japan dare to work exclusively with this glaze. Over the past thirty years, Kawase has refined his own formulas for the ideal blue-green color for his celadon glazes through extensive and meticulous testing, blending in iron oxide, yellow sand, and sometimes even magnetic powder. His works are created from both red porcelaineous stoneware and white porcelain. Kawase's ceramics grace the collections of important Japanese collections and museums as well as major Western institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Royal Ontario Museum, and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

In this, his second international exhibition, Kawase has created a literal sea of graceful flower and wave-inspired vessels that seem to undulate in space and change form when viewed from various vantage points. The liquidity and refined elegance of each individual shape, belies the difficulty nature of their creation and easily enables interested visitors to fully appreciate the artist's complete mastery of his medium. Potted to perfection, covered in refined blue glazes, complemented by the modernity of his interpretations of classical Song ceramics, have earned him the admiration of collectors, connoisseurs and artists everywhere.


About Joan B. Mirviss, Ltd.
Joan B. Mirviss has been a renowned expert in Japanese art, specializing in prints, paintings, screens and contemporary ceramics for more than thirty years. She is the leading Western dealer in the field of modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics, and her New York gallery, Joan B. Mirviss, Ltd., exclusively represents the top Japanese clay artists. As a distinguished, widely published, and respected specialist in her field, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many museums and major private collectors.


For visuals and further information, please contact:
Rie Homura at

Joan B. Mirviss, Ltd.
39 East 78th Street
New York, NY 10075

Tel: 212 799-4021
Fax: 212 721-5148

Email: joan@mirviss.com
Website: www.mirviss.com