Japanese Tea Bowls

26 September - 13 November 2008

Simple ceramic bowls, known as chawan, have been central to the Japanese tea ceremony for hundreds of years. Inspired, at first, by crude Korean pottery, they have developed into a rich and sophisticated tradition that has altered little over the centuries and still thrives today. The conventional aesthetic criteria that the Japanese use in their appreciation of tea bowls are quite different from those that predominate in the west; originality is not highly regarded, and to our eye the ceramics often appear ugly and mis-shapen. But looked at from another perspective, the best of them possess great depth, beauty, and integrity.

With warm thanks to David Callens, Tokyo, whose guidance has made this exhibition possible.