Born 1937, Imbe, Bizen, Okayama Prefecture, Japan
As the leading artist working in traditional Bizen techniques, MORI TŌGAKU has been at the forefront of the Japanese ceramic art world for more than thirty years. In 1985, he completed an extraordinarily large semi-underground climbing kiln, where most of his work has been produced. In 2015, he completed an even larger 85-meter Momoyama-style climbing kiln, where he has begun firing new pieces. This completely wood-powered kiln is unprecedented in size, and demonstrates the spirit of his work well. While he remains deeply rooted in traditional styles and techniques, his work pushes beyond the boundaries of the past. Influenced by ancient Bizen ware and its Chinese prototypes, such as Sue ware, he highly values the texture of clay and sometimes combines two or three different kinds of clay to create vessels that are both dramatically modern and reflective of old tradition.
Bizen multi-faceted standing vessel with cinched waist, sculpted shoulder and raised three-lipped mouth
11 x 6 x 5 1/2 in.
Large undulating wave-like Bizen vessel
Unglazed stoneware with kiln effects
15 1/8 x 12 3/4 in.
Bizen multi-faceted standing vessel with collared mouth
10 1/4 x 5 1/2 x 5 1/4 in.
Bizen faceted waterjar
6 5/8 x 6 5/8 in.
Bizen vertical-tiered vessel with flattened collar; fired in climbing kiln in a saggar
11 x 6 1/4 in.
Flattened ovoid vessel with raised flaring mouth and red and purple abstract patterning
Earthenware with painted decoration
9 x 6 3/4 in.
Black square vase
8 5/8 x 5 3/4 x 3 in.
Stoneware vessel with bulbous base, inlayed red circle patterning and silver
Earthenware with red and silver slip
9 x 7 x 5 in.
Earthenware vase with color painted decoration
11 5/8 x 9 1/2 in.