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Artist: Fukami Sueharu, born 1947
View of the Distant Sea II
Molded porcelain with celadon glaze
21.6 x 109 x 5.7 cm (8 1/2 x 42 15/16 x 2 1/4 in.)
Gift of Molly and Walter Bareiss, B.S. 1940S
This is an unusual porcelain sculpture resembling a wave about to break. It stands in opposition to the functional ceramics of traditional Japanese potters who “worship” unglazed clay, its tactile qualities, and the accidental effects that wood-fired kilns produce. Fukami Sueharu challenges them by using electric kilns to minimize uncontrolled processes, by using molds to cast his creations, and by applying high-quality glazes of subtle, varying density. Despite his extensive control of color and form, one detects a slightly wavering edge; the gentle curve and subtle irregularity softens and at the same time enlivens the severe geometry of the piece. The Zen-like meditative mood of the work, and the celadon color, reminiscent of Chinese Song-dynasty ceramics, suggest an Asian idiom for a work that otherwise speaks a universal language of visual art.
Showa era (1926–1989)
Not on view
Sadako Ohki, Twentieth-Century Japanese Ceramics at the Yale University Art Gallery: The Collections of Molly and Water Bareiss, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 2, 10, 15, no. 34, fig. 34.
Sueharu Fukami, Genesis of a Genius: The Early Ceramics of Fukami Sueharu, exh. cat. (Hanford, Calif.: Ruth & Sherman Lee Institute for Japanese Art at the Clark Center, 2003).
Sadako Ohki, “Japanese Art at Yale,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2007): 41, fig. 8.
“The Explainers,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2013): 6465.
Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.