Women ceramists in Japan often confront insurmountable barriers when pursuing their career in an artistic industry regulated by an entrenched succession system of craftsmen transferring skills (and businesses) to their male heirs. Many women ceramists, disenfranchised by the rigid patriarchal system, opt to leave home to hone their craft and build their oeuvres abroad. Impressive works by five Japanese women who have done just that are currently the focus of an enlightening exhibition at the Joan B Mirviss Gallery, an exquisite space in the Upper East Side of New York. The well-crafted show, titled "The French Connection: Five Japanese Women Ceramists and Their Passion for France," showcases works by Futamura Yoshimi, Katsumata Chieko, Nagasawa Setsuko, Ogawa Machiko, and Sakurai Yasuko – all established their reputation through their shared love for France.
The gallery's press release states: "Given the formality within the ceramic tradition in Japan, the relative openness pervasive in the French art world and its lack of gender bias held the allure of freedom for many Japanese women artists. Of the five Japanese women participating in this show, each has emerged from a distinct background and they have traveled diverse roads through their training and artistic development, often eschewing by choice or necessity the more traditional routes open to their male counterparts. Each sought to make France a major central component in her artistic evolution and life, where she sought fair and open training that has ultimately led to international recognition."
Link to original posting