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9/6/2016 | Scented Splendor: The art of KAKUREZAKI Ryuichi & ISHII Takahiro

KAKUREZAKI Ryuichi (1950- )

ISHII Takahiro (1980- )

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Tradition is extremely important to Japanese culture, and it is a place where families can pass traditions down through many generations. Craftsmanship is perfected and protected within families. While many songs can be sung to praise such a long lasting tradition, the burdens of such a legacy can be an obstacle to new innovations and artistic breakthroughs. 

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Noted ceramic artist Kakurencaki Ryuichi is not from Bizen nor is he from a longstanding potter's family. His unique outsider background gives him a totally different perspective and approach - he is able to look and create things anew, unburdened by tradition.

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This extraordinary incense burner has all the beauty that Bizen ware can offer, and yet the form is completely unprecedented. A very careful and considered placement in the kiln has resulted in a full spectrum of ash deposits: grey, brown, purple, and beige. The metallic wood lid could not have been carved better by a master; it perfectly completes the piece. As one of the six ancient kiln sites, the firing techniques and clay deposits of the Bizen community are tightly guarded. But even as a total outsider, Kakurenzaki Ryuichi has won the acceptance of the community and has inspired and paved the road for many outsiders to follow.

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Like Kakurezaki Ryuichi, his student Ishii Takahiro has taken Japanese ceramics by storm. A graduate from Kyoto Municipal University of Art, Ishii is the recipient of many ceramic awards. 

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His unique incense burner is a ceramic slab that was fired in a covered environment where he carefully oxidized part of the surface to a black color, and finished the piece in graphic white glaze. A perforated ingot of brushed aluminum has been placed at the center to allow the perfumed smoke to exit. Both Ishii Takahiro and Kakurenzaki Ryuichi have given the centuries-old tradition of incense a fresh and new energy. 

KAKUREZAKI Ryuichi 隠﨑隆一 (1950- )

Bizen Incense Burner 備前香炉, circa2005

H4.8" x D4.5" x W5.2", H12.2 x D11.5 x W13.3cm

Stoneware

Signed at the bottom

With Signed Wood Box


ISHII Takahiro 石井隆寛(1980- )

White Glazed Incense Burner白釉香炉

H0.7" x D4" x W4", H2 x D10.3 x W10.3cm

Stoneware

Signed at the bottom

With Signed Wood Box

C.S. Jiang