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Exhibition Schedule

Current Exhibition
February 3 (Fri) – March 26 (Sun), 2017

The Exchange of the East and the West in Ceramics

The Silk Road and the Silk Road on the sea—these were the routes that urged exchange among peoples from different regions and cultural areas, between the East and the West of the Eurasian continent. In this exhibition, the three glazed ware representative of the exchange between the East and the West on the Silk Road, the Chinese ceramics that spread via the sea route which became important after the Five dynasties and Song periods, and the Hizen ceramics of the 17th to 18th century Kyushu which came to play a major role in the exchange will be featured, showing the encounter of beauties of the East and the West through ceramics.

Exhibitions 2011-2012

2016年度

April 8 (Fri) – June 26 (Sun), 2016

Sometsuke vs Qinghua — The Story of Underglaze Blue Porcelain

Brilliant cobalt blue color on white background — the noble beauty of blue and white porcelain, qinghua, that flourished in China during the 14th century Yuan dynasty Jingdezhen was cherished by the Yuan and succeeding Ming and Qing dynasties, as well as by the people all over the world. Japanese people admired Chinese qinghua ware, comparing its blue color to the color of the indigo-dyed fabrics, and called it sometsuke, a name deriving from the word aizome (literally, indigo-dyed). Furthermore, Japanese developed a distinct world of blue and white ware different from the original Chinese examples, reflecting their unique esthetic. This exhibition will explore the world of sometsuke that fascinated the Japanese as well as the beauty of qinghua that continues to attract the world.

October 28 (Fri) – December 18 (Sun), 2016

Japanese Ceramics— Quintessence of the Idemitsu Collection

Commemorating the renovation of the museum, masterpieces of Japanese ceramics from the Idemitsu collection will be showcased in this exhibition. The beauty of Ko-Garatsu and the tea ceramics representative of the Idemitsu collection, the serene beauty of the polychrome enamel overglazed porcelain of Ninsei and Kenzan, the elaborate Imari, Nabeshima, Kakiemon and Ko-kutani wares, pieces by Itaya Hazan filled with the charm of modern ceramics, and the sensibility of the form of the National Treasure, Yamada Jōzan III — we will rediscover the appeal of Japanese ceramics through the masterpieces from the Idemitsu Collection.

December 23 (Fri), 2016 – January 29 (Sun), 2017

Shōchikubai— Auspicious Vessels

This show will be the second in the series to commemorate the renovation of the museum. Appropriate for celebrating the New Year, we will assemble vessels that bring happiness. One can see various expressions of designs and forms in ceramics since ancient days. Longing for gracefulness as exemplified in shōchikubai (pine-bamboo-plum), praying for success in love and marriage, wishing for richness, respecting longevity—all reflect people’s varied wishes, and were expressed in auspicious motifs. We hope that you will enjoy the felicitous atmosphere of the New Year by reading the meanings hidden in the vessels.

February 3 (Fri) – March 26 (Sun), 2017

The Exchange of the East and the West in Ceramics

The Silk Road and the Silk Road on the sea—these were the routes that urged exchange among peoples from different regions and cultural areas, between the East and the West of the Eurasian continent. In this exhibition, the three glazed ware representative of the exchange between the East and the West on the Silk Road, the Chinese ceramics that spread via the sea route which became important after the Five dynasties and Song periods, and the Hizen ceramics of the 17th to 18th century Kyushu which came to play a major role in the exchange will be featured, showing the encounter of beauties of the East and the West through ceramics.

2017年度

April 7 (Fri) – June 11 (Sun), 2017

The World of Ko-Imari

Ko-Imari (Old Imari) is the Kyushu-born beautiful porcelain decorated in polychrome overglaze enamels, in rich colors of red and dark blue, green and yellow, enhanced with gold.  It is widely known both within and outside Japan, as the representative of Japanese ceramics that decorated the European court, fascinating the royalty and nobility.  It is to be noted that ceramics other than Ko-Imari with original styles were also created in various areas of Kyūshū.  This exhibition will showcase the rich and magnificent world of Kyūshū ceramics through the brilliant and exotic Ko-Imari, innovative Agano, elegant Utsutsugawa wares and others.

June 16 (Fri) – August 13 (Sun), 2017

Itaya Hazan and Art Nouveau — The Art of Modern Ceramics

Modern Japan entered a new era after the Meiji Restoration.  A new trend also arrived in the world of ceramics.  One of the leading ceramicists of the new era was Itaya Hazan (1872-1963).  Hazan studied the art nouveau style that was popular at the end of the 19th century in Europe.  He also researched the oriental elements of design and form, developing a new expression that merged the esthetics of the east and west in ceramics.  This exhibition will introduce the appeal of modern and contemporary ceramics through the art of Itaya Hazan and Emille Gallé, a representative artist of art nouveau.

August 25 (Fri) – October 22 (Sun), 2017

Miyabi, the Elegance of Kyoto — The Iro-e Contest of Ninsei and Kenzan

As exemplified in the name of kyōyaki which literally means Kyoto ceramics, the feeling of miyabi, or the tradition of elegance that prevails in the city of Kyoto, has become the symbol of the beauty of the elegant capital.  This fascinating sensitivity even continues today, and seems to have become a standard that was established with Ninsei’s new view of form founded in the 17th century and Kenzan’s study and expression of color that were derived from China and the West in the 18th century.  This show will explore the beauty of color that was promoted in the culture and art of the historical capital of Kyoto, through the ceramic masterpieces of Ninsei and Kenzan.  We hope that you will rediscover the richness of Japanese spirit through this exhibition.

October 27 (Fri) – December 17 (Sun), 2017

Ko-Garatsu

Ko-Garatsu (Old Karatsu) is representative of Momoyama ceramics.  The founding director of the Museum, Idemitsu Sazo, cherished Ko-Garatsu above all, and found the value and poured special affection on the “Tea Bowl with Design of Circle-and-Cross”.  Ever since, masterpieces of Ko-Garatsu have joined the Idemitsu collection.  The robust appearance comparable to that of a wandering samurai (warrior), the solid texture of surface with light painting added, all elements are well combined to create an original atmosphere that blend with Japanese emotions.  This show will feature a wide range of items from tea ceramics, vessels for kaiseki meal and sake utensils.

January 12 (Fri) – March 25 (Sun), 2018

Karamono and Cha no yu

It is at the end of the Nara period that tea was introduced to Japan from China.  During the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, the custom of drinking tea became popular, and items from China, called karamono, were valued as tea utensils.  During the Momoyama period, as wabicha became popular, kōrai jawan (Korean tea bowls) and wamono (Japanese vessels) also became popular, but even into the Edo period, karamono were prized as tea utensils and ceremonial items by the samurai family.  This exhibition will explore the role karamono played as well as its development in the formation of estheticism of the world of cha no yu.