Master of a very difficult technique from the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) known in Japanese as Neriage, the potter who created this elegant vase uses extreme precision to combine sheets of differing types of clay, culminating in a unique visual effect. While many of his pieces are ringed with swirls of colors, this one is more modern and subdued. With quite a lot of character, this lovely vase will draw attention without being overpowering.
Born in Nagano, Kosei Matsui (1927-2003) began his journey along the path to being a master potter in an unusual way. Unlike most who were born into the tradition, Matsui took it up much later as a passion project. After graduating from Meiji University with a degree in literature, he accepted a post as a Buddhist monk and later became the head of Gessoji temple in Kasama. Once there he had a kiln constructed and took up the study of ancient potter techniques of China, Korea, and Japan. The technique he found most suited him was one that required great skill, precision, and creativity to master (neriage) and eventually he excelled at it, creating pieces that exceeded the classic models by adding complexity and a touch of modernism. Once he started displaying his works publicly, they were received with great enthusiasm, eventually garnering him two of the most prestigious awards offered in Japan, the title of Living National Treasure, and the Order of the Rising Sun from, from the Imperial family. Today his works are held in collections around the world including: the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Tokyo National Museums of Modern Art, Victoria and Albert, Saint Louis Art Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum, among many others.
In perfect condition, this masterfully crafted vase is 6 inches at its widest point (15 cm) and stands 7 inches tall (18 cm). Matsui’s signature can be seen etched on the base and it comes housed in its original wood box signed and sealed by the artist.