White is fashionably cool and aesthetically crisp. Ceramic and glass works
on display at the Sogetsu Museum of Art take white as the summer theme.
Over 100 objects, primarily vases and containers, are brought together
for an all white show in the classy headquarters of this ikebana school.
Black, the absence of light and white, pure light are the non-colors of
the spectrum. There is a purity about white -- a cleanliness. In pure
physics white is the product of a careful addition of all the colors of
the rainbow. Whereas in life it is seen as the removal of all color --
the most neutral. While in the artists studio or movie theatre it is the
blank reflective surface onto which art is cast.
Porcelain, the purest, white clay features in many of the works on display.
The chalky brilliance and fragility of this material are highlighted in
the vases of Kiyoyuki Kato. Her paper-thin work has a series of torn holes
across the top and an overlapping fold down the middle. The vase resembles
a piece of office paper ripped from a notebook and folded into a cylindar.
About one third of the exhibition is devoted to works in glass. A flower
vase, by Masakichi Awashima, combines clear translucent glass with a frosted
white core. It resembles melting ice. Hisatoshi Iwata also uses slightly
opaque white glass to create his series of jars titled "Flowing Clouds".
Like their titles, these pieces are airily light and misty white.
Other works in the exhibition use white glaze over stoneware. A series
of jars by Hiroshi Teshigahara are stunningly simple forms. Glazed in
pure white they seem like some industrial cast offs that have been part
melted or ruptured.
The air-conditioned exhibition space is also a chilled, all white. Liberated
from summer heat and technicolor distractions, visitors are free to explore
the varieties of textures and dwell on the infinite forms of these elegant