When I was given the opportunity to hold a solo exhibition at the Ippodo gallery in New York in the autumn of 2016, I decided to hold a tea ceremony there. This led to my work being acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and two years later it was displayed as part of the centenary celebrations of the construction of the museum’s ceremonial tea house and I was invited to participate in a tea ceremony there together with the people from Ippodo.
Philadelphia was once the capital of the U.S.A., it is the site of the most historical art museum in the country and was used as the location when filming the movie, ‘Rocky’.
It was a valuable experience for me to see my work displayed among art crafts from around the world and I feel it led me to change the style of my work considerably. I was amazed to learn that practical objects, such as water containers and tea utensils could become collectable items outside of the tea house.
I enjoy working everyday, creating new shapes in my pursuit of an appropriate formative beauty and aiming for even greater ease of use.
We plan to present an exhibition by Murase Jihei to be held shortly before the Imperial enthronement ceremony marking the beginning of the Reiwa era in Japan.
Not only is Murase Jihei highly-skilled in the techniques of producing the wooden bases for lacquerware, but in his youth, he also aspired to become a sculptor and the forms he creates astonish us with their beauty. His works conform to the dictates of the tea ceremony, but their beauty far surpasses that of mere vessels. The works of Murase Jihei possess a special magic, allowing them to purify the space they are in, imbuing it with dignity and making the surrounding tea utensils stand out.
For this exhibition I have selected work that I particularly like.