Mizusashi: Japanese Water Jars from the Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz Collection

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    Kiyomizu Rokubei VI (1901 - 1980). 'Water jar with floral patterning of an ebine (calanthe orchid),' ca. 1978. Glazed stoneware with over-glaze decoration, lacquer lid.

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    Left: Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959). 'Shigaraki-clay water jar,' 1929. Anagama-fired stoneware. | Right: Katsumata Chieko (b. 1950). 'Pumpkin-shaped water jar in pale, matte greenish-yellow with black lid,' 2015. Glazed stoneware with applied chamotte (fir

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February 02, 2017 - June 18, 2017
Honolulu Museum of Art

Exhibition Overview

The water jar (mizusashi), usually made of ceramic, has a significant role in the Japanese chanoyu tea gathering. The sixteen mizusashi in this exhibition are on loan from Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz, who have one of the finest, most extensive collections of contemporary Japanese ceramics in the U.S. The water jars on view demonstrate the wide range of aesthetic interpretations that 20th-century and contemporary Japanese artists have made, melding tradition and innovation.

Highlights include a rough 1929 Shigaraki-clay stoneware covered jar by the famous potter Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959), a ca. 1978 jar with overglaze enamels with a lacquer lid by Kiyomizu Rokubei VI (1901-1980), and a 2015 pumpkin-shaped water jar by Katsumata Chieko (b. 1950), who has become well-known for her playful, undulating biomorphic forms that challenge traditional Japanese notions about the ceramic medium and vessel forms. 

Read an interview with the Horvitzes on the museum blog.

Learn how the exhibition came together from Katherine Love's curator's notes.