27. M5264



Japanese ceramic white crackle glazed stoneware tea bowl, chawan, of irregular naturalistic form with pressed side and unglazed areas revealing the biscuit body, covered on the interior with a rich white crackled glaze slightly thinning at the rim.

5 inches, 12.7 cm wide.

Kawase Shinobu, 1991.

Wood box, described as ‘white 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. 1-6 & 14. 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. 39.
  • 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. 38, p. 41 and again by the Musée Tomo in Fifty Years in Making Celadon, The Special Retrospective Exhibition of Kawase Shinobu, 2018, illustrated in the catalogue, no. 54, p. 66.
  • 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”.