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News - 04.12.2019

JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles Introduces KESHIKI | The Landscape Within

Exhibition Featuring Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Brodfuehrer Collection Opening April 17

LOS ANGELES – APRIL 12, 2019 – JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles is pleased to announce the debut of its latest exhibition, KESHIKI: The Landscape Within, featuring contemporary Japanese ceramics from the Brodfuehrer collection, from April 17 to June 9. The natural imperfections that emerge on ceramic vessels during the firing process – pools of glaze, scorch markings, cracks and indentations referred to as the keshiki (“landscapes”) of a piece – have been celebrated by Japanese artists and collectors as adding new beauty, depth, and value to the work since the sixteenth century. Local Southern Californian collector Gordon Brodfuehrer has built an exceptional collection that includes styles and techniques from kilns across Japan. The complimentary KESHIKI: The Landscape Within exhibition – curated by Hollis Goodall from Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) – presents over sixty contemporary ceramic pieces from the Brodfuehrer collection, inviting visitors to join this pioneering collector in his journey around Japan.

While pottery-making culture in Japan is one of the oldest in the world going back to roughly 10,000 BCE, the history of the six most renowned kiln sites—Bizen, Seto, Tokoname, Shigaraki, Tanba, and Echizen—can be traced back to at least the 12th or 13th centuries. The works in this exhibition are arranged in approximate geographical order of their origins in Japan, from west to east, and indicate how local clay characteristics and ancient traditions continue to assert themselves in contemporary ceramic design. For example, Jōji Yamashita’s contemporary vases and jars utilize the Bizen technique of wrapping rice straw from local agricultural fields around vessels in order to produce warm orange striations against the clay. Yasuhiro Kohara uses the rough texture of Shigaraki clay, with feldspar stones bursting from its skin, as well as traditional glazing techniques, to achieve his eclectic forms.

Ceramic art is an integral part of everyday life in Japan. While Western collectors enjoy larger and bolder ceramics for display in their homes, Japanese collectors tend to appreciate ceramics in a functional way – for tea ceremony or informal tea, flower arrangement, incense, drinking sake, or as part of the dining experience. In Japan, the popularization of the tea ceremony in the sixteenth century as a means of reinforcing social ties between elites led to a great demand for domestically-produced ceramics. As part of the ceremony, guests are expected to admire the keshiki of the bowl, remarking on the beautiful finish or shape, and contrast between the green color of the tea and the warm clay tones, before they drink.

This exhibition has been curated by Hollis Goodall from Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Goodall also curated a show in 2006 at LACMA, which opened Brodfuehrer’s eyes to contemporary Japanese ceramics and inspired him to begin collecting. To highlight Brodfuehrer’s personal perspective, Goodall has included a series of nature-themed photographs by ceramics dealer and photographer Taijirō Itō, a friend of Brodfuehrer’s who has traveled with him on collection trips throughout Japan. The photographs of natural landscapes offer the viewer the chance to contemplate on the deep connection to nature that is part of many ceramicists’ practice, and that so inspires Brodfuehrer.

Journeying through the exhibition, each visitor will draw from his or her different experiences in life to discover different keshiki on the ceramics, which can be documented and shared through smartphone. Guests are invited to follow Gordon Brodfuehrer’s sensibilities as a collector, and share his appreciation for the relationship to nature, craftsmanship, and personal creativity that abound in the world of contemporary Japanese ceramics.


Related Programs

JAPAN HOUSE will offer several related programs complementing the KESHIKI: The Landscape Within exhibition.


Gallery Walkthrough with Curator Hollis Goodall

Date:Sat. May 4
Time:1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Venue:JAPAN HOUSE Gallery, Level 2
 More info about Gallery Walkthrough


An Art of Imperfection: The Beauty of Japanese Ceramics

Date:Thur. May 23
Time:7:00PM – 8:30PM
Venue:JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5
 More info about The Beauty of Japanese Ceramics


Ceramic Artist Yukiya Izumita Master Class

Date:Sat. May 25
Time:1:00PM – 2:30PM
Venue:JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5
 More info about Yukiya Izumita Master Class


Landscaping: Creative Summer Arrangements

Date:Wed. May 15
Wed. May 29
Time:2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Venue:JAPAN HOUSE Sub-Gallery, Level 2
 More info about Landscaping's Creative Summer Arrangements


KOKEDAMA: Japanese Moss Arrangements

Date:Wed. June 5
Time:2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Venue:JAPAN HOUSE Sub-Gallery, Level 2
 More info about KOKEDAMA



JAPAN HOUSE is an innovative, worldwide project with three hubs, London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, conceived by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It seeks to nurture a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japan in the international community. JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles occupies two floors at Hollywood & Highland. The 2nd floor features a gallery space and shop. The 5th floor hosts a Japanese restaurant, relaxing library, and event venue, along with spectacular views of Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles. JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles offers a place of new discovery that transcends the physical and conceptual boundaries creating experiences that reflect the best of Japan through its spaces and diverse programs.

Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

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