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DESCRIPTION: A whimsical and colorful Haviland porcelain footed bowl, hand painted by Japanese artist, Toshio Aoki. Here he has painted a fantastical scene of a bok choy cabbage fishing atop wood pilings, accompanied by a clam holding a lantern, and a lemon who seems to be giving directions. The bok choy has caught a crab, while a fish is laughing from the water. The underside of the bowl is similarly decorated with four more comical characters, each dancing, singing or playing. This bowl is quite exceptional since Tashio Aoki's work rarely comes to market. From a long held collection, and in perfect, original condition. For more of T. Aoki's porcelain works, see our other listings, CPGP2 and CPGP3. DIMENSIONS: 9" diameter (23 cm) x 4 3/4" high (11.5 cm).
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Toshio Aoki (1854–1912), or simply “T. Aoki,” was a Japanese immigrant artist who relocated from Yokohama to San Francisco in the 1880's and spent the rest of his life in California, dying in San Diego in 1912. His paintings and illustrations on paper, textiles and porcelain represent the work of one of the earliest known Japanese painters in California.
T. Aoki often painted strange or comical figures, and he himself was described as droll or strange. He was admired for his skill, naturalism, and facility with the brush, but the humorous or strange nature of his works was often misinterpreted through the West's perception of Japan at that time. However, Aoki did not remain within closely defined Japanese iconography, nor did he obediently repeat Western stereotypes. His paintings show a degree of experimentation that represents the artist’s thoughtful engagement with both Japanese and Western trends. Aoki’s association with fantasy should not be seen only within the confines of Japanese art, but also as part of broader cultural trends in the West.