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Haruhiko Kaneko: Sea Captured in Ceramics

Japanese ceramic artist Haruhiko Kaneko brings a large ceramic installation to Salon des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France.

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Text by Heini Lehtinen

‘Silent Blue Wall’ by Japanese ceramic artist Haruhiko Kaneko is an installation made of ceramic plates, which are all unique, subtle and reflect the light in a different manner. The deep hues of blue and black in the ceramic plates are due to mastering the yuteki tenmoku technique used in the tiles, but also randomness. Today, only a dozen of potters use yuteki tenmoku, and Haruhiko Kaneko is one of them.

The technique originates from China, specifically from the Mount Tianmu region known for its Zen Buddhist monastery and production of high-quality green tea. Japanese monks staying in the monastery reportedly had a custom of drinking green tea from bowls with black glaze, a colour resulting from iron ore in the glaze.

Haruhiko Kaneko’s fascination with the deep black colour of the glaze and its luster, glitter and silver spots originates from an early age, when he learned the technique from his father. His research on the technique enables more expressive and subtle application of the technique as well as appearance of deep emerald greens, navy and cobalt blues in the glaze.

The ceramic tiles of the installation remind of the sea bathing the shores of Ishigaki Island, where Haruhiko Kaneko grew up. Born in 1961, he learned the pottery techniques of the island and founded his studio, Ishigaki-Yaki, in 1999. He exhibited in Paris for the first time in 2012, and has since shown his work in the French capital on an annual basis. •

Haruhiko Kaneko’s installation ‘Silent Blue Wall’ at Salon des Beaux-Arts 2015 at Carrousel de Louvre in Paris, France, on 17–20 December 2015.

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Haruhiko Kaneko.
Haruhiko Kaneko.
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