Bursting with life, this vessel by avant-garde Shinkai Kanzan was exhibited at the Nitten National Art Exhibition in 1982. Titled Kitsune to Minori no Monogatari, Kabin (Vase, The Tale of Fox and Fruition), the sly creature slinks through fruit laden vines in a path of dark through the light gray glaze covering the simple open form. It comes enclosed in the original signed wooden. It is quite large, measuring 30 cm (12 inches) diameter, roughly the same height and is in excellent condition.
Shinkai Kanzan was born the grandson of Seifu Yohei III in 1912 and was raised from a baby in the confines of the Gojo-zaka ceramic district of Kyoto, inducted daily into the realm of pottery by his father and grandfather. He graduated the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts, and moved on to study painting (after his fathers urging) before returning to ceramics under Kiyomizu Rokubei V and Vi. He was first accepted into the Teiten (later Nitten) National Exhibition in 1930, and was displayed there consistently thereafter as well as others, being prized at the 1939 San Francisco Exposition. Just as he was beginning to take off as an artist, he was drafted and sent to China, where after he spent three years in a Russian Gulag in Siberia. Upon his return to Japan, he branched out on his own; with a unique vision grounded in the roots of the training and instruction he had received before the war, but with a new style and concept to differentiate himself from his peers. In 1951 he was recognized with the Gold Award at the Japanese Art Expo. Following many prizes, in 1974 he was granted the Governors prize at the Nitten, and in 1980 the Nihon Geijutsu-in Sho (Japanese Art Academy prize). In 1989 he was awarded the Kyoto Prefectural Cultural Order of Merit for his life-long endeavors. Works by him are held in the Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art among others.