The exhibition was funded in part by the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program and grants from The Blakemore Foundation, the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts and Southwest Texas State University. Michel L. Conroy, NCECA Exhibitions Director, served as Curatorial Consultant.
MINGEI LEGACY featured pottery by Shôji Hamada and Kanjiro Kawai who, with Dr. Sôetsu Yanagi, founded the Japanese Mingei movement. The exhibition included works by their friend, English potter/author Bernard Leach, who learned the art of pottery making in Japan. The exhibition, which provided an opportunity to see the work of these artists alongside that of two succeeding generations, coincided with NCECA’s (The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) Annual Conference held in San Diego.
The work of Shôji Hamada and Kanjiro Kawai reflects the living traditions of pottery making, which they imparted to their apprentices. Working at a master’s side, an apprentice learned not only the technical skills necessary to make pottery, but also came to know the intimate connection between life and work. MINGEI LEGACY illustrated the process of transmitting an aesthetic from one generation to the next.
The exhibition was accompanied by a monograph by Michel L. Conroy, MINGEI LEGACY — Continuity and Innovation Through Three Generations of Modern Potters, published by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.
The films “SHÔJI HAMADA: His Way and Work,” WARREN MACKENZIE: An American Potter,” “THE ART OF THE POTTER (Bernard Leach and Shôji Hamada),” and “ARTISTS AND THEIR ART: MICHAEL CARDEW” were played in the Multimedia Education Center throughout the course of the exhibition.