I think that among many professions and callings, the artist is a noble one. When they are alive, these visionaries create arts to inspire, delight, and connect; when they are gone, their art and artistic legacy continue to teach, provoke and strengthen our bonds with each other. Wada Morihiro is a star that fell too soon. In 2009, a year after Wada left us, Dai Ichi Arts presented the exhibition Celebration of a Life, seen in the attached brochure with several of Wada's works that were exhibited for sale. Wada's ceramics still intrigue us over a decade after his passing, and we grow to understand him more.
Wada was a classmate of Matsuda Yuriko 松田百合子(1943- ) at Kyoto Art University. Under the tutelage of Tomimoto Kenkichi 富本憲吉(1886-1963, LNT), Wada and Matsuda studied nature and sought to recreate its forms in their work. Plants, animals, and natural forces became both symbolic and decorative in Wada's hands.
Patterns often rise from the repetition of abstracted natural forms in his ceramics, like on the elegant work pictured here. Wada expressed his particular view of the natural world through this unique motif.
Wada used natural materials as much as possible, including different forms of clay, sand, and slip. He experimented with various natural clays to produce a variety of colors after high firing such as grey-green, dark auburn, purple, and navy. This vessel is inlaid with white slip patterning, allowing the colorful clay to show through the inlaid lines with Wada's ever more complicated and intricate processes. Such pieces exemplify Wada's masterful patterning technique, which requires a lengthy process of building, inlaying, scraping, and glazing.
Ren-rai-mon-kiis a major work that Wada Morihiro made in late 1980. The vessel is about 16 inches tall and as intricate as a folding origami paper work. The making of Ren-rai-mon-kiis truly difficult and intriguing, as it could not be slab built. Wada had to build it up with small strips of clay while ensuring that every corner and angle was straight and sharp. The surface emerged as an interlocking pattern of Wada's celebrated abstract natural forms. A large piece as such, the bottom is slightly tilted upward so that the piece doesn't appear heavy, a master's touch!