A superb example of the chameleon versatility of Matsuzaki Ken is this red tea bowl dolloped with thick white glaze enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Kurogane Shino-Chawan. It is strongly formed, with russet iron highlighting the borders between the fields of red and white glaze. Truly a spectacular work.
Size, D 12.4 cm ( 5 inches) H 8.6 cm ( 4 inches)
Matsuzaki Ken was born in Tokyo in 1950, and grew up in that dynamic post war era where tradition and modernity were at constant loggerheads. He graduated Tamagawa University in 1972, and moved to Mashiko to take up an apprenticeship under (to be) Living National Treasure Shimaoka Tatsuzo; putting him in direct lineage with Mingei legend Hamada Shoji. In 1978 he established the Yushin kiln, initially emulating the ordinary Mashiko-Mingei themes. However he could not be labeled so easily, and has sought expression in many forms and themes, including Shino, Hakeme, Yakishime, Zogan and porcelain. He is widely exhibited both inside and outside Japan, including New York, Boston and England and including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Works by the artist are held in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Sackler Museum、Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Cleveland Museum of Art, Israel Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ibaraki Prefectural Museum and Mashiko Ceramic Museum as well as any number of other important public and private collections. See also the book “Ken Matsuzaki, Burning Tradition” (2008).