Japanese avant-garde ceramicists test the limits of clay

Documenting a shift from function to form, Catherine Speck looks at AGSA’s latest exhibition on Japanese ceramics.

Review: Pure Form, Art Gallery of South Australia.

Japanese art post the second world war is infinitely fascinating. At a time when the country was under Allied occupation and Japan had paid a high price for the war in the Pacific to end, its artists were revelling in new found freedom.

Some of the most interesting work of this era was from avant-garde ceramicists. Their revolution in clay led to them abandoning the Mingei tradition of Japanese folk craft which included making functional vessels such as tea bowls.

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