23 September - 5 November 1989
Hours: 9:30a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
It is our great pleasure to announce the opening of “Exhibition of Ceramic Art in the Momoyama Period - Attaching Importance to Iga Ware (Old Iga)”. In this exhibition, we will be introducing the world of Ko-Iga (Old Iga) through 50 works of Ko-Iga ware such as flower vases and mizusashi (water jars) from the Momoyama period to the early Edo period together with jars excavated in the Iga region dating back to the medieval ages and shards from kiln sites. At the same time, 86 ceramic works of Shigaraki, Bizen, Oribe/ Shino/Ki-Seto of Mino, Karatdu, Agano, Takatori etc. from the Momoyama period will be exhibited, showing the variegated world of ceramic art in the Momoyama period.
The ceramic works produced in Iga province from the Momoyama to the Edo period in relation to cha-no-yu (tea ceremony) such as flower vases and mizusashi (water jars) are known as Ko-Iga wares. For centurie, they have been highly valued not only as excellent tea ceremony utensils, but olso as works of ceramic art with superb forms. From the pottery clay found in Iga region, Ko-Iga wares were moulded into highly distorted and unique shapes, decorated in a free and unrestrained manner using a scoop, and fired in the kiln at a very high temperature. The result is the creation of a magnificent ceramic work with a sty1e of its own, with blue-green colored Bidoro (natural) glaze and deep black scorches on the surface.
Though having such rich formative attractios, not much is known about the details of the origin or the development of Ko-Iga ceramic ware. 0wing to the fact that no academic excavations and researches have been conducted on the kiln sites, there are still many questions to be answered such as the transition of its style or its relationship with Shigaraki ware.
With the co-operation of three ceramic history scholars, Mr. Mitsuuoka Tadanari, Mr. Hayashi Seizo and Mr. Yabe Yoshiaki, we have tried to make the content of this exhibition as complete as possible. It is our sincere wish that through this exhibition, many people will come in contact with the rich formative world of ceramic art of Ko-Iga and the Momoyama period. We also hope that this will be of some assistance in advancing the study of Ko-Iga which is still full of unanswered questions.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest thanks to all the museums, collections, private co11ectors for exhibiting their precious works at this exhibition, and to all others for their assistance in making this exhibition possible.