Tuesday, June 26, 2007

From the British Museum

This is a surprising object. First of all, it looks quite old. And it is in the British Museum surrounded by unique, one-of-a-kind examples of Japanese art. I photographed it because I had never seen a ewer quite like it. I estimate it to be close to 9 inches long. It has a nice porportion and looks like it would serve it's owner well. The decoration fits the form and is beautifully executed.

Imagine how surprised I was to learn that this is a modern piece. It was made around 1990 by Soma Masakazu, an artist born in Okinawa in 1949. The information card reads:

"This ewer is designed for pouring alcoholic drinks. It has a typically Ryukyuan combination of clear, bright colours. The distinctive curved shape, called a dachibin, can be worn at the hip. Soma, the maker has given the traditional local style a modern twist."

The piece is stoneware and was donated by the artist. It would be a great form to experiment with.

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