First Annual Paramita Museum Ceramic Art Prize
Museums sponsoring art awards in Japan is nothing new; for example the 15th annual MOA Mokichi Okada Award for kogei-'crafts' was recently given to Raku KichizaemonXV. The MOA Museum--sitting atop a mountain on the coastal town of Atami--is a must see--as well as the Miho Museum---for any visitor to Japan. A sister--and the original MOA--is in Hakone and now displays an impressive assortment of Jomon-mid Edo ceramics. Now a bit further down the coast in Mie prefecture is a relatively new museum called the Paramita Museum. As with the two aforementioned museums, religious associations run deep in these institutions, and of course paramita is a Buddhist term with profound meanings. Lots about Buddhist art in general can be viewed on Mark Schumacher's very informative web site: http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/buddhism.shtml
The Paramita Museum opened its doors in March, 2003 with its first major exhibition's theme of 'The Heart Sutra' inspired works by Ikeda Masuo. The Ikeda works are a main feature of the museum's overall collection as is a look into old Banko wares, of Mie prefecture origin.
So, the love of ceramics continues with a recently inaugurated award and corresponding exhibition of eight ceramic artists. They are as featured in the photo here, top l-r, Miwa Kazuhiko, Mihara Ken, Hayashi Kuniyoshi, Uchida Koichi; bottom l-r, Akiyama Yo, Abe Anjin, Sugiura Yasuyoshi (current exhibition in Tokyo at Muse Tomo until July 23 http://www.musee-tomo.or.jp/), and Tashima Etsuko. Examples of many of the artist's works can be seen on www.e-yakimono.net. The exhibition runs until August 31 and more information--only in Japanese though--can be obtained by
(PS-As we all know, the Net is a grand place yet as with anyplace some creeps crawl in. 'Someone' is using an an email address with e-yakimono.net as the sender; asking for credit confirmation and such; I know most know it's not from me, so please just trash it. Where's the Raid....?)