Temporary Exhibition: "Colors, Vigor and Creativity: Vessels by YANAGIHARA MUTSUO" (Commemorating the Gift to the Museum)

Wednesday, August 11, 2021~Sunday, February 6, 2022

Yanagihara Mutsuo (1934–), from Kochi City, Japan, studied ceramic art at Kyoto City University of Arts under professor and potter Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886–1963). Later, having been invited to teach at University of Washington and Alfred University, he made visits to the United States several times between the 1960s and 70s, spending approximately five years there in total. He witnessed firsthand the movement of American art, characterized by abstract expressionism and pop art, which became his source of artistic inspiration. After returning to Japan, he created distinct sculptural works with striking gold and silver decorations, which drew public attention. While constantly seeking contemporary expressions, the artist embraces the continuity of the rich Japanese pottery culture, being determined that he would “never dismiss the art of pottery.” Yanagihara describes the joy of pottery as: “While you can become a soloist to render a personal expression, you can also instantly become part of an ensemble.”
This exhibition, held in commemoration with the donation of Yanagihara Mutsuo’s four works to our museum, displays the artist’s forty-one works, some of which are in a private collection. Along with sixteen photographs of flower arrangements in Yanagihara’s works made by ikebana artist Sugita Kazuya, the exhibition reviews what Yanagihara has been questioning himself: “Can a ceramic work be a form of art?”
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Omori Keigo (Museum Richo), Ms. Kimura Yoshiko, Mr. Sugita Kazuya and Mr. Sugiyama Michio for their generous gifts.


Examples of Objects on Display