Nov 29, 2023 - Oct 27, 2024

Black & Gold

Traditional and Contemporary Japanese and Chinese Ceramics

Chinese, Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE) Amphora with Two Handles, n.d. Earthenware, 13 x 12 3/4 x 11 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Gary Smith, 2021.90.1.

Traditional and Contemporary Japanese and Chinese Ceramics

An installation of Chinese and Japanese black and gold-toned ceramics, made over the span of two thousand years is now on view in the Crocker’s Asian galleries. Black & Gold showcases the connections and inspiration shared between ancient and modern works, and the black-and-gold-toned artworks provide a cohesive view of shifts in Chinese and Japanese ceramic arts.

Open today 10am - 5:00pm

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The astonishingly-modern, black clay Amphora with Two Handles from Han dynasty China (206 BCE–220 CE) functioned in daily life as a pouring vessel before being buried for use in the afterlife. Black-glazed bowls with decorative iron markings such as the Tea Bowl with “Hare’s Fur” Glaze (Chinese, 12th–13th centuries) have long been considered by connoisseurs to be the best for whisked teas, and have inspired modern Asian ceramists to create their own interpretations of black-glazed tea wares. Potters from the Jingdezhen kilns in northeast China made colorful tableware for export, and gold-washed porcelain known as Lai Nam Thong were designated for use at the Thai royal court in the 18th–19th centuries. Pioneering Japanese women potters continue to enrich the world of contemporary ceramics with their distinctive contributions, and Hattori Makiko challenges viewers to consider forms that move beyond the traditional vessel in her work Sitting Silently. She created the piece’s delicate surface by repeatedly attaching black clay “ribbons” to a bowl-shaped core, a process akin to meditation. 

The fifteen functional and sculptural ceramics in Black & Gold are selected from the Crocker’s Asian collection, and from promised gifts from The Corti Collection. The installation also features loans and gifts from The Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz Collection of Contemporary Japanese Ceramics.