26. M5263



Japanese ceramic black glazed stoneware tea bowl, chawan, of irregular naturalistic form with pressed side and unglazed areas in white slip and brown revealing the biscuit body, also covered on the interior with a rich, thick black glaze.

5 inches, 12.7 cm wide.

Kawase Shinobu, 1991.

Wood box, described as ‘black tea bowl’, signed and with artist’s seal, Shinobu, on the interior of the cover and the white cloth, with the seal, ten-sei.

Provenance & Additional Information

  • From the collection at the artist’s home and described as an artist’s proof.
  • This tea bowl, chawan, is the artist’s proof for the 8th solo exhibition at Kandori, The New Otani Hotel, Tokyo, titled Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow – Shapes for Tea Bowls – II, 1991. Similar examples were included in the catalogue, nos. 7-13. This particular piece has been used by the artist and his wife since 1991 in his home for Japanese green tea.
  • The seal, ten-sei, is very rarely used by the artist. It may be translated as the eyes which gifted from heaven. It relates to a human’s mentality as well as the spirit in the clay. Kawase Shinobu is quoted as saying, “When I burn to create my works in the firing, this spirit is always gifted to me in the heaven”.
  • A related chawan was included in the solo exhibition at Ginza Kurodatohen, titled Ginjo no Utuwa (Utensils on Precious Tray), 2009 and illustrated in the hardback catalogue, no. 38.
  • A similar chawan also dated 1991 was included by the Musée Tomo, The Kanjitsu Kikuchi Memorial Tomo Museum of Art, Tokyo, in their retrospective exhibition of Beyond Tradition – Seeking His Serene Blue: Celadon Works by Kawase Shinobu, 2011, illustrated in the catalogue, no. 37, p. 41.
  • In this piece, the artist wishes to display naturalism and the irregularity of nature. Often the artist has tried to create objects without natural defects but feels this group of tea bowls “should be treated more sympathetically as they are better than any other tea bowls I have ever created”.