Artful Ambiance: Contemporary Saké Vessels with Character
Curated by Lucien Koonce
Sake, an alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice, has been one of Japan’s most ceremonious beverages since the 1300’s. Today, sake consumption is enjoying a global expansion, with breweries opening throughout North and South America, China, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Clay as a material for making utilitarian objects has been in existence since around 14,000 BC, beginning in East Asia, which includes China and Japan. The Japanese culture surrounding sake consumption developed vessels specifically for the pouring and drinking of this beverage.
The terms guinomi (cups) and tokkuri (flasks) are most synonymous with shuki (sake ware) and the drinking of sake. The viewer, when looking at all the various styles of work, may ask, “What’s the criteria for a good sake vessel”? First and foremost, the bulk of an answer centers on how drawn one is to the aesthetics of a particular piece. Of course, one can’t escape competency by the maker regarding the weight, its balance when held and, in a cup, how it feels against the lips. None-the-less, the character of a vessel makes the overall experience unique and special, providing an artful ambience to any setting. Robert Yellin, considered to be one of the most noteworthy authorities on Japanese ceramic sake vessels, states: “Some things in life have a natural charm, the ability to draw you in and absorb your attention to the exclusion of all else, if even for only a few moments. The combination of good sake and . . . yakimono (pottery) is one such simple joy. Although there is much more to yakimono than only tokkuri (flasks) and guinomi (cups), the overlap of this special niche of the pottery world with the world of sake buzzes with a magic all its own.”
This exhibition seeks to expose the viewer to only a smattering of the ceramic sake vessels being made by contemporary artists throughout the world. While demonstrating the aesthetic diversity among sake ware being made today, the intent is showcasing the unity brought forth by a single passion: the love of making shuki. Kanpai!
- Lucien Koonce
Gallery Opening Reception: Friday, October 6th at 6pm
Exhibition goes online: Tuesday, October 10th at Noon EST
Joe Bruhin, Peter Callas, Robert Fornell, Ron Hand, Mitch Iburg, Lucien Koonce, Dick Lehman, Joe McCaffrey, Kristin MullerTim Rowan, Akira Satake, Jeff Shapiro, Mike Weber
Elena Renker, Aaron Scythe
Anne Mette Hjortshoj
Eddie Curtis, Margaret Curtis, Lisa Hammond, Phil Rogers
Encarna Soler Peris
John Dix, Tomoo Hamada, Asato Ikeda, Osamu Inayoshi, Shinsuke Iwami, Mami Kato, Ken Matsuzaki, Hiromi MatzukawaShozo Michikawa, Yoca Muta, Higashida Shigemasa