Large Bowl with Galaxy Design in Blue, 2007; porcelain; h. 4 7/10 x dia. 20 4/5 in. (12 x 53 cm)
Shomura Ken is the fifth generation head of the Banko kiln which dates back to the Meiji period (1868-1912) in Arita. Although polychrome enamel painted porcelain and blue-and-white porcelain (sometsuke) are most prevalent in Arita, the artist first worked with white and blue celadons. He studied for seven years with the leading expert of white porcelain production Inoue Manji, designated a Living National Treasure in 1995. Shomura trained with Inoue making vessels on a potter’s wheel, which became the foundation for his eventual works of clear and sleek porcelain. Shomura’s celadon works quickly gained recognition in juried competitions and at the young age of 31 won a high prize at the prestigious Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition in 1980.
Shomura continued to challenge himself and developed his signature techniques, ai-zome or indigo-dyeing and beni-zome or red-dyeing. This he attributes to his prior experience with stoneware production, albeit a short period of time. The exploration of glazes for stonewares allowed Shomura to take the bold approach of applying them for the first time to porcelains. Shomura works with such ingenuity and creativity towards new types of porcelain production in Arita.
- Heritage: Japanese Works by Contemporary Artists, Onishi Gallery, New York