The landscape of Japanese pottery is increasingly broadening as more and more female artists join the contemporary ceramic scene. The diversity of their work is expressed with unflagging skill and the strength of their message eclipses any label of gender. There are many works in our own stable made by female artists, and if i did not read Japanese I certainly would not be able to tell that this group of artists was entirely female.
Women artists born in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s faced great discrimination, and many remained only the silent partners in an art world dominated by men. Even though large economic and political gaps continue to exist between men and women in Japan, the gap in education is diminishing. More and more girls get into ceramics schools and become successful artists upon graduation, lending their voices to the contemporary scene. Female artists must still fight against inequality and prejudice, in addition to assuming the responsibilities of home and family in a traditional society. And yet, despite these obstacles, women are making some of the most exciting and creative work coming out of Japan today.
Over the next eight weeks we will feature works made by a group of artists who just happen to be women. Their work is groundbreaking, original, traditional, innovative, geometric, organic, sculptural, abstract--you name it. These ceramics transcend outdated notions of gender to sing out in their own voices, and we hope you will enjoy their songs!