Contemporary Japanese Tea Ceremony Wares

Tea Bowls: Art of the Five Senses

March 15, 2018 - April 07, 2018
Opening Reception : March 15, 6 - 8 p.m.
Yui Tsujimura

Asia Week Hours:
March 15 – March 24, 11 am – 6 pm
except Sunday, March 18: by appointment;
March 26 – April 7, Mon. – Fri., 11 am – 6 pm

OPENING RECEPTION: March 15, 6 – 8 pm


In celebration of Ippodo Gallery NY’s 10th anniversary, the gallery is delighted to announce an exhibition of tea wares by more than 15 contemporary Japanese potters. Ranging from young artists to master craftsmen, the works evoke a wonderful feeling of harmony. The five senses are magnified as you hold a bowl in your palms, with each acting as their own microcosmos.

Ippodo has always focused on the tea-related artworks as a core cultural component of Japan, with tea ceremony and its accoutrements at the center of that ideology. This is the second exhibition of tea wares by these Ippodo artists, as the first was held in 2014. Exhibiting artists include Keiji Ito, Hiromi Itabashi, Kohei Nakamura, Kyusetsu Miwa XII, Chozaemon Ohi XI, Tetsu Suzuki, Shiro Tsujimura among others.

With the unique process of tea ceremony, appreciation for tea wares differs from that of other crafts. Unlike an artwork that is only appreciated visually, tea ceremony embodies beauty and joyfulness, as achieved through contemplation and tranquility. During the ceremony, the bowl is raised with both hands, and the drinker savors the texture of the piece against his or her lips. Reflection on the green color of the tea, the full weight of the vessel, and the shape of the kodai, or the foot of the bowl, all add to the experience of pleasure.

The tea wares are transformed through shape and glaze, the full object ripe with discovery in detail. Each modification, no matter how small, becomes a source of appreciation--a culmination of Japanese aesthetics.

The Japanese tea ceremony was first developed during the Azuchi Momoyama period (1573-1603), with the wabi-cha style perfected by Sen-no-Rikyu (1522-91), which spread widely among the Samurai class. The guest entrance to the tea ceremony room is extremely small and low, forcing the guests to enter on their knees, to oblige the Samurai to leave swords outside. A Samurai valued his sword as highly as his life, so to part with it in order to participate in tea ceremony no doubt created a heightened atmosphere of humility. As such, the small tea room must have offered the Samurai a unique form of freedom, equalizing all who entered.

While the earliest tea ceremonies were restricted to feudal lords and high-ranking samurai, the rituals gradually became popular with the rich merchant class during the mid-Edo period (18th century). Edo-period tea ceremony was characterized by refinement, combining the Zen Buddhism with the Way of the Samurai. From spiritual sublimation across society to the delicate and intensive craftsmanship of utensils, (particularly tea bowls), tea ceremony grew in cultural and ultimately historical importance. At different points in history, a single tea bowl has even been considered more important than territory. A simple tea bowl contains a sense of great presence and infinite power: Microcosms of a great maternal spirit.
Various traditional styles of tea bowl continue today: Raku, Ido, Hagi, Karatsu and Shino are still being created. Japanese potters often dedicate their lives to the creation of the perfect tea bowl. The tea master devotes all his energies to a single bowl of tea to make it a unique encounter, allowing the guest to appreciate the experience through all five senses.

But the sensory experience of the tea ceremony is not merely solitary. The ritual allows for important communication; it joins people together, releasing the boundlessness of imagination to flourish. In a single tea bowl, happiness can be found.

Exhibiting Artists ( alphabetical order ) :

Yasushi Fujihira
Noriyuki Furutani
Hiromi Itabashi
Keiji Ito
Yukiya Izumita
Kyusetsu Miwa XII
Kohei Nakamura
Akio Niisato
Nobuo Nishida
Chozaemon Ohi XI
Mokichi Otsuka
Tetsu Suzuki
Ruri Takeuchi
Shiro Tsujimura
Kai Tsujimura
Yui Tsujimura
Soyo & Shodo Yamagishi

Natural ash glaze tea bowl
C17630NP
Yui Tsujimura
Natural ash glaze tea bowl
C17633NP
Yui Tsujimura
Kofuki tea bowl
C17629NP
Yui Tsujimura
White Shino tea bowl
C17636NP
Yui Tsujimura
Natural ash glaze pot
C17638NP
Yui Tsujimura
Tea bowl, Oribe style
C16421NP
Kai Tsujimura
Tea bowl, Oribe style
C16422NP
Kai Tsujimura
Bowl
C17655
Keiji Ito
Bowl
C17653
Keiji Ito
Bowl
C17654
Keiji Ito
Iga tea bowl
C17613
Shiro Tsujimura
Shino tea bowl
C17612
Shiro Tsujimura
Black Oribe tea bowl
C17600
Shiro Tsujimura
Kohiki round pot
C17615
Shiro Tsujimura
Shino tea bowl
C17603
Shiro Tsujimura
Vase with ears
C17610
Shiro Tsujimura
Kohiki round pot
C17621
Shiro Tsujimura
Ido tea bowl
C17734
Kohei Nakamura
Juko Celadon tea bowl
C12095
Kohei Nakamura
Black Raku tea bowl
C17328
Kohei Nakamura
Kohiki tea bowl
C17376
Kohei Nakamura
Ido tea bowl
C17735
Kohei Nakamura
Tea bowl with silver glaze
C17656
Yasushi Fujihira
Tea bowl with silver glaze
C17658
Yasushi Fujihira
C17798
Yukiya Izumita
'Hen' Flake tea bowl
C17800
Yukiya Izumita
Bowl
C17801
Yukiya Izumita
Bowl with two different glazes
C17803
Yukiya Izumita
White porcelain tea bowl
C17757
Hiromi Itabashi
Black Raku tea bowl
C17756
Hiromi Itabashi
Ohi tea bowl
C16980
Chozaemon (Toshio) Ohi XI
Ohi tea bowl
C17371
Chozaemon (Toshio) Ohi XI
Lapis and white tea bowl
C16329
Akio Niisato
Yellow tea bowl
C17672
Akio Niisato
Black tea bowl
C17673
Akio Niisato
Tea bowl
C17648
Mokichi Otsuka
Tea bowl
C17650
Mokichi Otsuka
Tea bowl
C17649
Mokichi Otsuka
Tea bowl
C17651
Mokichi Otsuka
Tea bowl
C17652
Mokichi Otsuka
Tenmoku tea bowl
C17715
Noriyuki Furutani
Tenmoku tea bowl
C17716
Noriyuki Furutani
Tenmoku tea bowl
C17712
Noriyuki Furutani
Tenmoku tea bowl
C17713
Noriyuki Furutani
Vase 'Butterfly Waiting Flower'
C17642
Kyusetsu Miwa XII
Green glazed water jar
C17643
Tetsu Suzuki
Green glazed water jar
C17644
Tetsu Suzuki
Green glazed tea bowl
C17646
Tetsu Suzuki
Lacquer tea bowl, Tenmoku tea bowl 'Silent Night'
C17055
Sōyō and Shōdō Yamagishi
Lacquer tea bowl, Otokoze style
C17054
Sōyō and Shōdō Yamagishi
Lacquer tea bowl 'Sun Rise'
C17057
Sōyō and Shōdō Yamagishi