“Small Plates and Dishes from Old Imari Ware” Exhibition

Toguri Museum of Art

poster for “Small Plates and Dishes from Old Imari Ware” Exhibition

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From the outset, Imari ware, production of which began in the early part of the 17th century, included a range of items small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, among which were small dishes and mukozuke (small bowls or plates with unusual shapes). Whether it be the unsophisticated charm of early Imari ware of the 17th century, the innovative designs of Kokutani ware, the elegance and bright colors of Kakiemon ware, or the sumptuousness of Kinrande ware of the Genroku era (1688-1704), these palm-sized pieces clearly display the characteristics of the period in which they were produced. Moreover, despite the limited space available, these small vessels are often richly decorated with landscapes or other natural scenes that leave the viewer with an impression of great depth.

Unusually shaped dishes that overturn the conventional wisdom that such vessels must be round is a field in which Japanese ceramicists excelled. In the case of Imari ware, these shapes range from flowers to fishes and birds, from butterflies to Mount Fuji. At times the results are exquisite and charming; at others they are powerful.

This exhibition showcases the history and superior craftsmanship of Imari ware with a selection of charming small dishes, mukozuke, and other unusually shaped vessels from the Edo period.

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From 2009-07-05 To 2009-09-27

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