The blossoming of contemporary crafts in Japan that began in the twentieth century is rooted in a long and rich tradition of exquisite design and technical accomplishment. Featuring some one hundred works by close to sixty artists, Fired Earth, Woven Bamboo showcases the range of creative approaches in Japanese ceramics and bamboo art beginning in the postwar period and focusing on the past three decades. Some choose to break out of the bounds of vessel shapes to create wildly sculptural forms, whereas others pursue individual expression through more nuanced approaches. All engage in dialogue with their materials as well as with traditional forms, functions, and techniques. The works that spring from their hands—delicate or monumental, humorous or spiritual, rustic or sophisticated—testify to the vitality of the contemporary crafts movement and to the marvelous variety of artistic achievement it has fostered.
Enhanced with historical and biographical essays by a leading expert on Japanese crafts, Fired Earth, Woven Bamboo provides a fascinating tour of contemporary ceramic and bamboo arts in Japan as well as an introduction to the riches of the Mary Ann and Stanley Snider Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.