The artistic voices of women ceramicists in an exhibit at City Arts Center, 3000 Pershing Blvd., are described in its title as “soaring,” but their work is also down-to-earth, and of the earth, like clay itself.
Developed by the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan’s Shiga Prefecture and hus-10, Inc., the “Soaring Voices: Recent Work by Women from Japan” touring show contains 87 works by 25 artists.
City Arts director Mary Ann Prior said the show demonstrates an important Japanese cultural shift toward individual women ceramic artists becoming recognized in a traditional male artistic realm.
Prior pointed out that although women have been active in the production of ceramics in Japan for thousands of years, their names have been largely unknown until recent times.
Seals, pressed into the clay, create textile-like patterns in the brown surface of a tall, striking cylindrical stoneware “Vessel,” by Junko Kitamura, one of three she contributes to the exhibit.
Etsuko Tashima uses leaf-like, translucent blue, green and pink glass shapes to accent, complement and contrast with white, also organic-looking stoneware forms in four works from her “Cornucopia” series.
In “Germination,” by Kyoko Tokumaru, a white porcelain object manages to look both ornate and organic, like an elegant, exotic plant, made in an upscale factory, from found objects, as a home decoration.
Most organic, and appealing, too, are the stoneware “Shell” vessels and porcelain and stoneware plates of Shoko Koike.
Two handsome “Noh Form” shapes, made from stoneware inlaid with colored stones, by Eiko Kishi, are more abstract, ship-like and powerful than they are theatrical, despite their titles.
Abstract, multi-lined silver enameled patterns interact well with dark and dull brown areas in an unglazed “Large Yakishime Vessel” by Sachiko Shimizu.