Shin Fujihira: Ethereal Clay

June 13, 2019 - July 21, 2019
Opening Reception : Thursday, June 13, 6-8 pm

Summer Gallery Hours:

June 25 ~ July 3: Tuesday - Saturday 11am-6pm
July4 ~ 7: Independence weekend holiday
July15 ~ Monday - Friday 11am-6pm, Saturdays by appointment


NEW YORK, NY – As a legend in the field of ceramic art, Shin Fujihira’s impact on Japanese ceramics was profound. His whimsical works lived in an imaginative world of their own and, since his death in 2012, only a very small number of exhibitions have showcased them. Therefore, it is Ippodo Gallery’s immense honor to present “Shin Fujihira: Ethereal Clay,” a solo exhibition of over 50 pieces by Shin Fujihira, ranging from the early 1980s to the late 2000s, on view June 13 until July 21 in New York. For this special occasion, we have essays in the show’s catalogue by Glenn Adamson, Senior Scholar, Yale Center for British Art, and Elizabeth Essner, an independent curator, writer and researcher specializing in modern and contemporary design and craft.

Fujihira’s legacy was shaped early on by a few key, formative circumstances. His family owned a studio in the well-known ceramic area of Kyoto, Gojozaka, where ceramicists often shared kilns. In fact, Fujihira’s family rented space in the kiln of mingei master Kanjiro Kawai (1890 – 1966) who gave Fujihira his name “Shin.” Growing up, Fujihira and his brother frequently visited Kawai at his home to watch him work. When the time came, Fujihira began studying art at the Kyoto Institute of Technology, but his studies were postponed when he became ill and was hospitalized for four years. It was during this time that Fujihira began sketching the world around him, honing his distinctive eye for the figures he would later incorporate into his ceramic works.

After regaining his health, Fujihira left the hospital with a newfound appreciation for the preciousness of life. His work became a celebration of life itself, filling it with the energy of light, happiness and heavenly spirit. Rather than throwing pieces on a wheel like many of his peers, Fujihira created both ornamental and functional pottery by pinching. This technique gave Fujihara the flexibility to explore the fanciful abstractions of his imagination and translate them into clay.

This upcoming exhibition of Shin Fujihira’s works is a testament to the success of this technique in portraying his vision—a woman throws her arms open to the heavens, balancing upon stairs leading nowhere in particular; a pair of squat owls rests atop an incense burner; a water dropper arcs, caves, distends. The fantasy is only heightened by Fujihira’s masterful use of dream-like, pale celadon and cinnabar glazes. It is easy to get lost in the etheral pinks, blues and greens that deliciously coat each piece. More than just ceramics, Shin Fujihira created pure magic, which continues to spark a sense of wonder in all who get a glimpse into his world.

CINNABAR POT WITH FLOWER PATTERN
SHIN FUJIHIRA
H12 1/4 W7 1/2 D7 1/2 in H31 W19 D19cm
C19655
FLOWER INCENSE BURNER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
VASE "BIRD AND FLOWER"
SHIN FUJIHIRA
CINNABAR WATER DROPPER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C2359P
CINNABAR TEA BOWL
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C2372
SNOWY MORNING
SHIN FUJIHIRA
B2362P
INCENCE BURNER "HEAVEN"
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C2352P
COMPASS
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19550
TIGER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19549
LIBERATE
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19548
SPAIN
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19547
FLYING CREATURE
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19546
BOX WITH FISH MOTIF
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19545
CERAMIC MASK
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19544
BUTTERFLY
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19543
COBALT OXIDE INCENSE BURNER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19542
COBALT OXIDE INCENSE BURNER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19541
SILVER HANDLED BOX
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19540
CINNABAR POT
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19539
CINNABAR POT
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19538
CINNABAR POT
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19537
CINNABAR VASE
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19536
CINNABAR VASE
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19535
CINNABAR CUP
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19534
CINNABAR CUP
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19533
CINNABAR CUP
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19532
CINNABAR INCENSE BURNER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19531
ASH GLAZE INCENSE BURNER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19530
INCENSE BURNER "SPRING TOWER"
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19529
CINNABAR INCENSE BURNER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19528
CINNABAR INCENSE BURNER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19527
CINNABAR DECORATED BOX
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19526
CINNABAR BOX
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19525
INCENSE CONTAINER "FISH"
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19524
COBALT OXIDE WATER DROPPER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19523
WATER DROPPER "HOUSE"
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19522
CINNABAR TEA BOWL
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19521
CINNABAR TEA BOWL
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19520
CINNABAR TEA BOWL
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19519
CINNABAR TEA BOWL
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19518
CINNABAR TEA BOWL
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19517
CINNABAR TEA BOWL
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19516
CINNABAR TEA BOWL
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19515
CINNABAR TEA BOWL
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19514
COBALT OXIDE TEA BOWL
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19513
CINNABAR TEA BOWL
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19512
CINNABAR TEA BOWL
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19511
CINNABAR TEA BOWL
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19510
CINNABAR SMALL BOX
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19509
CINNABAR SMALL BOX
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19508
CINNABAR INCENSE CONTAINER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19507
CINNABAR INCENSE CONTAINER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19506
CINNABAR WATER DROPPER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19505
CINNABAR WATER DROPPER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19504
CINNABAR WATER DROPPER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19503
CINNABAR WATER DROPPER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19502
CINNABAR WATER DROPPER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19501
HORSE RIDING
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19500
CINNABAR POT WITH FLOWER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19499
FABRIC TEXTURE VASE
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19498
FLOWER DECORATED BOX
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19497
OWL INCENSE BURNER
SHIN FUJIHIRA
C19496
CINNABAR CHAWAN
SHIN FUJIHIRA
H3 φ4 1/2 in H8 φ12 cm
C19495