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銀彩斜筒瓶 W13.8cm D16.0cm H35.2cm

Yanagihara Mutsuo


Born in Kochi city, Kochi
raduated from the Faculty of ceramics at Kyoto Municipal Fine Arts University
Studied under Kenkichi Tomimoto
Invited to be a guest lecturer of the Department of Ceramics at Washington State University
The series of “Kinginsai” using luster glaze
Accepted to Firenze International Ceramic Art Exhibition, First Japan Ceramic Art Exhibition
Invited to be Assistant Professor at Alfred State College, New York
Assistant Professor at Scripps College in California state
Hold talks and lectures in various places
Received National Endowment for the Arts and off to America, hold talks and lectures in all over America
Professor of Osaka University of Arts
Received the Award for Distinguished Service to Art by Kyoto City
Received the Award for Distinguished Service to Culture by Kyoto City
Awarded Gold Prize by Japan Ceramics Association Prize

In 1934, Mutsuo Yanagihara was born as a son of the doctor in Kochi City. At the beginning, he had aimed to go on the art world, but he planned to enter the Faculty of design after he would graduate from high school. However, the president of Kyoto Municipal University of Fine Arts (currently Kyoto Municipal University of Arts) strongly recommended him to learn under Tomimoto Kenkichi who was a professor of the Department of Ceramics, the Faculty of Crafts and touch his personality. Then he decided to enter the world of ceramic arts. At that time an application for the entrance examination was ended so he entered school next year.

Studying under the great master of ceramic arts, Tomimoto, who had the policy “Do not create patterns from patterns” and explaining how important the originality by sketch would be, had influenced Yanagihara a lot in the way of living beyond his works style. Also, he was taught by Yuzou Kondou, Noudou Fujimoto and so on at the University so the foundation as a ceramic artist had made there.
He graduated in 1960 after he remained at the University as a part-time professor, he was invited to be a guest lecturer at Washington State University and he went to America. In 1967, he held so many personal exhibitions in Oregon and San Francisco including a museum attached the University and they got favorable reputations. Going back to Japan, he became an assistant professor at the Faculty of ceramic arts at the Osaka University of Arts. He has widely taught in and out of Japan.

Living in America was a chance to reconsider the movement of Contemporary arts and ceramic arts in Japan and America. It leads to take a matter hard how the skill of expression he desired would be. He intentionally became to persuade especially about the meaning of the correlation between shapes and decorations and the inside space of ceramics which he created. The former made a free idea of using vivid colors which he learned from pop arts and his original skill combined with a research of ceramic arts culture. The latter changed into his strong preference of the shape as a plate should have been.

The works formed in that way were intentionally created to make different values from the beauty sense of a traditional ceramics, “noble and elegant” and they seem to be opposed the goal of his master, Tomimoto. However, it is also said that not using existed patterns but Kinginsai and fresh multiple colors match Tomimoto’s policy “Do not create patterns from patterns”.

The works of Yanagihara are full of energy that tends to change something. Including humorous and strongly critical works, its aim can be “creation” itself. The spirit of revolution for figuring out what he wants is the stream of the creation of the active artist who is over 80.