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How to describe the texture on this very unusual vase? It is porous, like a thick coat of lichen on the surface. This is one of the many unusual pieces we have come to expect from the artist Koinuma Michio, ever a surprise! The body is sculpted with thick undulating lines in relief, and covered with this earth-toned porous glaze. It is 10 inches (26 cm) tall, 12 x 5-1/2 inches (31 x 14 cm) and is in excellent condition. It is stamped on the base by the artist and signed Koinuma Michio, S. 50 6 5 (June 5th 1975) Mashiko. The Kiri-wood box is not signed.
Michio is a compelling figure unique among contemporary artists. He seems to have no limit to his imagination and creativity, still dazzling us with new concepts after four decades. Born in the hectic war years in 1936, he is incredibly intelligent, graduating the economics department of Osaka University, then on to Waseda for graduate studies, one of the top three schools in Japan. Relinquishing that life he opened a kiln in Mashiko in 1970. Since 1978 he has been consistently displayed at the best galleries in Japan, as well as overseas. For more see Contemporary Japanese Ceramics Fired with Passion (ISBN -10: 1-891640-38-0) or To volume 10, which is dedicated entirely to him.