View of the Distant Sea II
Molded porcelain with celadon glaze
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.
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.
Sadako Ohki, “Japanese Art at Yale,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2007): 41, fig. 8.
“The Explainers,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2013): 6465.