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With a Long waiting lists for his contemplative stoneware from avid collectors in the United States, and with the recent acquisition of his work by the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Ken Mihara is now one of the most sought-after Japanese ceramists today. Hailing from Izumo, home to mystic landscapes that gave birth to the great majority of Japan's legends, Mihara's works call to mind the spiritual aesthetics of ceremonial vessels such as ancient bronzeware. Yet at the same time, his ceramics embody a deeply introspective and zen-like tranquillity that encapsulates Mihara's very own artistic state of mind.
With an ever-expanding list of accolades, such as receiving the highly-coveted Japan Ceramic Society Award in 2008, along with recent purchases by the aforementioned Metropolitan (NYC), the V&A (London), the National Museum of Modern Art (Tokyo), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among many others, Mihara's stardom continues to grow, mirroring the further maturation of his distinctive style.
The aesthetic qualities of serenity and the sublime coalesce within Mihara's work. In essence, these qualities are the scents of Japan, a culture which has traditionally searched for beauty within wabi-sabi austerity, spiritual simplicity, and the cherishing of patina. The natural landscapes of his high-fired stoneware facades were borne through multiple and extremely difficult kiln-firings, with each firing revealing a new element to a work's clay flavour. His new forms exhibit a stark, bulb-esque minimalism that are, in essence, a window into the mind of the artist. Mihara's new works pulsate with a relaxed and assured confidence in his own abilities - as if the artist is well aware that he is now at the height of his powers. Furthermore, the new works also exhibit a far greater range of tones, from the poetically austere to vivid oranges and blues, which are a result of a revamped firing technique that he has further tweaked from the experiments of his past Kigen (Genesis) series. His deeply spiritual works poignantly strike at the heart, and his new works exhibit the artist leaning further towards minimalistic simplicity
Click here to download Ken Mihara's biography
Click here to download Ken Mihara's Press Release