Special Alert
Special Alert

Nature, Tradition & Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics Exhibit


1911 Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center will host an opening reception for “Nature, Tradition & Innovation” on Friday, November 16 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The event is open to the public with free admission, and refreshments will be served. This exhibition showcases 55 ceramic works created by 43 exceptional Japanese ceramists, revealing the beauty of exquisite flower vases and serene tea bowls to whimsical candle holders and robust platters. The exhibition will be on display through February 9, 2019.

The featured works are closely associated with Japan’s historical pottery centers, and reinterpret traditional methods in a modern context. The link between ceramic making and nature is poetically highlighted by eleven digital photographs taken by photographer Taijiro Ito.

Stoneware ceramics occupy a uniquely esteemed position in Japanese culture. In the West, ceramics have been considered a minor “decorative” art form, eclipsed for centuries by the “fine” arts of painting and sculpture. In Japan, however, rustic-looking tea bowls, tea caddies, and flower vases, with their glazes and imperfect forms, have long been treasured by rulers and connoisseurs, baffling 16th-century Portuguese Jesuit missionaries, who remarked that these simple pots and bowls were “the jewels of Japan.”

This admiration for rugged-looking stonewares derives in part from the aesthetic of wabi—a cultivated simplicity and rusticity—which has been highly valued within the context of the tea ceremony from the fifteenth century onwards. However, it also derives from the Japanese deep-rooted love of nature and reverence of the kami—higher beings, or spirits, that inhabit it. For centuries, Japan’s potters have used the natural elements of earth, water and fire to create vessels that evoke nature. Many of their forms and glazed finishes harmonize with these natural tones and textures and are often believed to be created by the kami themselves during the firing of the kiln.

All of the works in this exhibition are from the private collection of San Diego-based collector Gordon Brodfuehrer. The exhibition was originally organized by the Mingei International Museum in San Diego. The traveling tour was organized by International Arts & Artist in Washington D.C.

While visiting Historic City Hall, do not miss “Animation Art,” which features the work of artists Chuck Jones, who brought Looney Tunes to life, and Friz Freleng, who cleverly created The Pink Panther. Included in the show is a group of Disney cels from the private collection of Mayor Nic Hunter. It is on view through December 29.

During the months of November and December, the public is invited to make their own handmade Christmas cards at Historic City hall. All materials are provided. The handmade Christmas cards will go to The Calcasieu Council on Aging for distribution to area nursing home residents.

Historic City Hall is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted. Charlestown Farmers’ Market is open on Bilbo Street behind the center every Saturday 8 a.m.to noon. For more information, please call 491-9147 or visit www.cityoflakecharles.com.

Nature, Tradition & Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics Exhibit
  • to
  • Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m
  • 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center
  • Free
  • (337) 491-9147
  • Recurring weekly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
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