- Museum number
White porcelain vase with five facets. Potted on the wheel and faceted by hand. Clear glaze. With original paulownia storage box.
- Production date
Diameter: 37 centimetres
Height: 37 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The British Museum holds two of Maeta's earlier works (2010,3016.2 and 2013,3015.2) made in 2009 and 2012 respectively, which represent different stages of the artist’s development. In 2009 Maeta was coming to terms with volume. The work has a swelling base that reflects Korean Goseon dynasty white porcelains, in particular the famous 'moon jar' shape. In 2012 Maeta’s concerns turned towards movement and he shifted his vessel forms so that they appeared to swirl and feel lighter than earlier works. In 2013, having been designated a Living National Treasure, his works have taken on a more mature form that incorporates balance, volume and harmony between the facets and the overall shape. This work was made after he was designated and has been displayed in his solo exhibition in Wako, Tokyo in November 2014. The artist himself feels that this piece is the finest work he has created.
Maeta is unusual in Japanese traditional ceramics in that his family and indeed his local prefecture have no history of ceramic production. He said he was simply moved by ceramics and enrolled in Osaka University of the Arts. He graduated in 1977 and has worked with white porcelain ever since. His work has been included in multiple exhibitions and he has received numerous awards. He was represented in the Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan exhibition at the British Museum in 2007. Maeta’s work is represented in the following collections: Musée Ariana [Switzerland]; Everson Museum; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Indianapolis Museum of Art [USA]; Japan Foundation; Agency of Cultural Affairs; MOA Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu; Shiga Ceramic Cultural Park; National Museum of Modern Art; Tottori Prefectural Museum; East Hiroshima City Museum of Art; Tanabe Museum of Art; Sano Toseki Museum of Art; Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum [Japan]; Icheon World Ceramic Centre [Korea]; Art Gallery of New South Wales [Australia]; Auckland Museum [New Zealand].
Maeta replied when asked what motivates him to work in porcelain: 'What is white porcelain, what is a vessel? I ask myself these questions everyday whilst I work at the wheel. Occasionally my work goes beyond the making of a conventional vessel but I continue on my journey in pursuit of pure simple contemporary forms in white porcelain.' He works alone without an apprentice in his studio adjacent to his home in Tottori City. He uses an electric wheel and electric and gas kilns, but all of his tools are hand formed and he builds the work with his hands on and off the wheel. The porcelain clay is from Shigaraki as Tottori has no local porcelain of high quality. Tottori is close to the Korean peninsula and Maeta’s works perhaps subconsciously reflects traditions seen in earlier Korean white wares.
(Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere, 2015)
- On display (G94/dc15)
- Exhibition history
2015 Apr-Oct, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
2016 Oct –, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from Prehistory to the Present'
- Acquisition date
- Registration number