Tohoku Relief Benefit Sale; "Inochi no utsuwa," Vessels of Life by Kondo Takahiro at Joan B. Mirviss Ltd. during Asia Week New York

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • January 26, 2012

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Images from the project courtesy of Kondo Takahiro ©2011

March 11, 2011, is a date now permanently in our memories as the day a major earthquake and tsunami devastated coastal northeastern Japan. In tribute to those affected by last year’s events, JOAN B. MIRVISS LTD will be offering for purchase, during Asia Week New York 2012, affordable ceramics from KONDO TAKAHIRO’S initial firing from his project “Inochi no utsuwa.” All proceeds will go directly to two non-profit organizations committed to supporting those in need in the Tohoku region (listed below).

The emotional weight of this national tragedy reached every person in Japan, whether or not they were directly affected. One internationally celebrated artist in Kyoto, Kondo Takahiro (b. 1958) has had ties to the Tohoku region for more than a decade. His “Mugen-gama” or Eternal Kiln project began in Miyagi Prefecture in1998 and through it, Kondo began teaching ceramics to the students at a local high school, Nishiyama Gakuin. In the aftermath of these calamities, Kondo visited the area to see how he might help. To his astonishment, both the kiln and the attached 150-year-old barn used as a studio were undamaged. As a way to give back to the devastated community, in mid-July 2011, he decided to produce functional vessels using the local clay and firing in the school’s chambered climbing kiln.

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Of this project, Kondo comments: “My ability is so minimal in the face of such a disastrous event. So I am seeking wider support both from within and outside Japan in order for this project to continue and expand. My aim is to deliver more utsuwa as vessels of prayer, utsuwa as vessels of culture and utsuwa vessels of life to all the people in need.”

The first firing was completed in October and Kondo plans to continue this project, firing new work semi-annually, thereby raising hope, awareness, and funds to aid in the regrowth of this community.
All proceeds will be donated to these local non-profit organizations: Mizumori no sato (Shichikashuku) – an environmental education organization based in Miyagi Prefecture whose activities directly support locally affected areas and communities.

Images from the project courtesy of Kondo Takahiro ©2011

All proceeds will be donated to these local non-profit organizations:

Mizumori no sato (Shichikashuku) – an environmental education organization based
in Miyagi Prefecture whose activities directly support locally affected areas and communities

Tokyo Jiyu Daigaku – an educational organization that supports “Inochi no utsuwa” by organizing programs and other activities related to this project, led by Kamata Toji of Kyoto University.

Simultaneous will be an exhibition of important Japanese prints from the collection of Brewster Hanson entitled “Approaching the Horizon” which will continue to be on view at the gallery from March 15 – April 14, 2012.

JOAN B MIRVISS LTD is located at 39 East 78th Street, in New York and will be open Monday through Friday, 11 AM to 6 PM or by appointment. For more information or to request high-resolution images, contact: Nami Hoppin at 212-799-4021 or email nami@mirviss.com.


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