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Yoshihiko Yoshida Master Potter • CCC Art Center Gallery

YoshidaClatsop Community College (CCC) welcomes Yoshihiko Yoshida, a master potter from Mino, Japan, to the College’s Art Center Gallery for an exhibit of ceramic pottery in the Mino tradition. The show opens May 20, 2011 and runs until June 30, 2011. There will be an opening reception on Friday, May 20, at 6:00 p.m. in the CCC Art Center Gallery to welcome Yoshida and his work.

“In my responsibilities to find artists who could contribute to my teaching at Clatsop Community College and the professional art and general community, I traveled to Japan to look at traditional ceramics and its thousands of years of history,” says Richard Rowland, CCC Ceramics instructor. “I began my study by looking at the ancient work of Joman, Aichi and the traditional 6 ancient kiln sites. I also investigated through maps and museums the migration routes of peoples into Japan from Korea and China. I visited many well-known potters but when I was invited to visit potters in Mino and Shigaraki I was lucky enough to meet Yoshihiko Yoshida, and was instantly impressed by his humble and honest demeanor.

After meeting with him and his wife, I realized that he could show my community how to hold on to the best of traditional values by using them as a springboard for contemporary reflection. The timing seemed right to ask him if he could come to Astoria.”

In addition to the gallery exhibit, Yoshida will conduct a ceramic workshop the next day for students and professional artists on Saturday, May 21, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the Art Center ceramic studio. He will do a pottery throwing demo and answer specific question about ceramics in Japan. Cost is $20 for CCC students and $30 for the public. A tea ceremony is included during the day’s event.

Contact rrowland@clatsopcc.edu for workshop information and availability. Space is limited.

Saturday evening, Yoshida will finish his visit to CCC with a lecture and slide presentation at the CCC Performing Arts Center (PAC). The presentation, “In the Mino Tradition”, is at 7:00 p.m., and is free and open to the public. Larry Tyrrell will perform Shakuhachi—traditional bamboo flute. Yoshida will lecture about his life and work as a traditional potter in Japan; as well as his apprenticeship with Arakawa Toyozo (1894-1985), one of Japan’s First National Living Treasures.

FMI: about the artist, Yoshihiko Yoshida, visit www.clatsopcc.edu.

Yoshida Lobed Bowl 2008 Yoshida Carved Vase 2008

“Once described as a sennin (mountain hermit)…. Yoshida lives amid a forest in the hills of Toki City in Gifu Prefecture. Located near his secluded home are the ruins of many kilns that fired the masterpieces of medieval Mino wares. I imagine that while walking by these kilns, looking for shards, some unseen force entered into Yoshida’s soul like water silently seeping into sand. How else can one describe the feeling he energizes his pots with?……..That is why potters such as Yoshida are so vital for this country. They anchor Japan in these changing times and question the frivolous fashions that appear, and disappear, like the moon in a cloud. They put “soul” in our hands. Yoshida works in a few different styles, including the aforementioned Shino, aka-Shino (red Shino), shirokesho (white-slip wares), hai-yu yohen ash-glazed wares, and his stellar Setoguro (Black Seto).”

“Yoshida studied with the late Living National Treasure Arakawa Toyozo (1894-1985) starting in 1956 and established his own kiln in 1969. His work is subdued, understated, refined, contemplative, graceful, and honest. I asked him upon viewing a lovely pastel Shino vase how he gets the colors, he turned to me and said matter-of-factly, “Shizen (it’s natural).” It best describes the man himself, and his work.”

-Excerpt from To See a World in a Bowl of Tea, By Robert Yellin
for The Japan Times, Nov. 14, 2001

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