Since it turned 30, the MOA Museum of Art decided to celebrate with an exhibition of traditional Japanese pottery late last year. The event ran until December 24, and attracted countless patrons who wanted to see real artifacts from the six oldest pottery centers in the country. Ceramics have long been celebrated in Echizen, Tanba, Seto, Bizen, Tokoname and Shigaraki.
In the modern era, however, some individuals have forgotten about these past works of art. That’s unfortunate, but the exhibition certainly attracted those who had a taste for the unique. Art critics believe that as time wears on, people will seek to reconnect with their past in order to maintain a sense of identity. This event provided people with a chance to explore the material culture of their ancestors. Modern culture seems to lack the appreciation for regular daily items that societies had in the past. Therefore, the exhibition might be viewed as an outreach to get the public interested in art appreciation.
Photo credit: The Japan Times, « A Shigaraki Ware Jar (14 century) »
Interestingly enough, another major Japanese institution is celebrating a birthday. Individuals who had their pallets whet by the exhibition will be visiting Christie’s at its new space in the Marunouchi district. The auction facility is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Tokyo, and is certainly ready to put on a show. On March 20, they will be hosting an auction that includes some of the finest ceramics and lacquer ware on the open market today. This is in addition to over 290 paintings that the institution hopes will find new homes in the near future.
Few art lovers get an opportunity to purchase genuine historical Japanese porcelain, so this is a rare chance for collectors to branch out. While the auction might not have artifacts that carry as impressive provenance as the ones at the MOA Museum of Art, they are quite valuable. That fact alone is turning more than a few heads.