Making things does not necessarily related to creativity. For instance, it is often the case that the ultimate perfection of the technique ("god hand") is considered as attaining an artistic element and the resultant work may be regarded as an artistic one. However, even if the work is the product of the highest technique, if it only gives its presence in a certain limited duration of time, claims the usefulness (not necessarily in the concrete sense) within the existing value system ... often protected by the state ..., and lives its life within the existing socio-political value system (this is exemplified by "living treasure" in Japan), it has nothing to do with art. The truly creative art should be the personal expression of the artist's herself/himself, unbounded by any soft of existing value; it sould be the communication towards unique individuals. The art, in this sense, is always unstable and should be agressive, within the environment, both external and internal, in which the art is situated in. In the traditional Japanese view on art, the recognition of such tension and conflict is regarded as the singular spirit in the process of creating things, which will be shared with recipients (not necessarily human beings) or the others.
On the other hand, Chinese Han dinasty's saying "house in the pot," " heaven in the pot," or " heavein in a pot," indicates a small and self-sufficient world separated from the earthborn world. This "other world," "paradise" or "small universe" is correlated with the aethetic sense of oriental crafts and arts that make full use of decorative technique within a limited space ... a view of the world in the hand, which originally implies the negative agressiveness in the sense of being "non-social." However, in this kind of artistic view, communication ... the partage or the concept of sharing with others ... is abondoned. The subject or the creator is the only thing that exist, and what values here is for the creator to enjoy herself/himself by distansing herself/himself from the earthborn world and enjoy the artistic world. This characteristic, which has wide influence on all over the far east (including Japan), has something in common with the occidental view on the art in which the making of the relation with the recipients is postponed to the moment until the moment when the work is completed (the artist as a subject marty herself/himself to the completion of the work): in both, the recipients who share the art are absent.
On the other hand, with Sen-no Rikyu (1522-1591), who complated Sado art (the art of tea), everything was the performance art which had a strong sense of the recipient with whom the art is communicated. Rikyu ... who was burned to death by his patron and the dictator ... established every aspect of the art of tea as the communication with others, sharing with others. The entrance to the small world called the "tea room" or Nijiri-guchi is small (59cm in width and 68cm in height ) and eveyone, including the dictaotr, whould crawl on his/her belly to get into the room. A non-violent attack to the power as the symbol of "the positive." An anti-thesis of the authority of the contemporary. The relation between the yin (the implicit) and yang (the explicit). So-called "sabi " and "wabi" are in fact also an expression of the dissident voice against the power or the decorated reality. Thus the execusion of Rikyu was inevitable.
A trait of Japanese traditiona craft ... the relationships between the creator and the other ... is not established on the basis of the artistic piece as a medium. Within the process of creation, the creator always and already knows the process of creation; what is important is the process of filtering the intervention of, or the tension and the conflict with the other. This implies that the ultimate state of mind in the creation of things is to make onself empty. The setting of the margin ... line-drawing in the common area ... manifest this. This obsesive sense of partage with the other ... and the projection of this into the self, the unconscious as the establishment of self ... is palpable in the traditional Japanese art.
Creativity requires some preconditions. To make/create things does not necessarily mean creativity. I would like to sketch a few restrictive conditions that can be observed in the world of Japanese work (making goods) and by that describe the spirituality in Japanese work. Through that, I believe my position will manifest itself in the midst of the current information/knowledge society.
Japanese tradition is, in a sense, like straight line. The tradition is projected as a straight line onto history as well; straight line or linearity means active and easy-to-understand transmission of information. Straight line is simple, non-intelligent, fresh. It defies self-indulgence. This is an essential characteristics of many Japanese traditional handiwork and artiste, whose techniques are refined by means of repetition of simple things. Often, when instruments/tools are used in the process of discipline, they are seen with "personality" and come to be respected. It is ultimately hoped that the subject/artist herself/himself becomes fused to the instruments/tools. Instruments/tools thus transcend themselves. As a result, the subject/artist live with instruments/tools even if they become defective. Instruments/tools can obtain an aura of the sublime. The whole existence of the user comes to be dependent on instruments/tools. They become symbols. The same can be said about raw materials; work or making things is seen as a "dialogue" with raw materials as "personality".
To transcend form and look for the essence in spirituality does not mean to deny the form itself. Rather, form is interpreted as a sublime symbol. Thus intellect is denied in the perception of spirituality; the consciouness of being uncouncsious is introduced. By obtain the formality or mode, the intellect which is denied is covered up and passive negation of self is introduced. Active denial of self comes when the expressor/creator induldge in the emancipated world of play. Obtaining form and mode leads to the truth of artistic activities for those with undeveloped logicality or intellect. Respecting the instruments/tools and raw materials as symbols, respecting their "personality", makes sure that they also support the creator/expressor. Pragmatic intelligence becomes an obstacle. This leads to the understanding that it is wise for creators not to talk about themselves.
The intelligence in this real world blocks one from obtaining the peace of mind of the self. Lineality in tradition is related not only to artistic matters but also to religion. Both deny logic and try to grasp the truth intuitively. Whether the form as a symbol or the object of worship is denied or not is just the reverse side of the coin. Form and mode gain excessive effectiveness after the denial of logic and intellect. It is convenient to master form and mode in order to arrive at spirituality straightfowardly. If the essence resides in the spirituality-through-experience, it is possible for people who lack intellect to grasp the essence by reliance on the handiwork and sense-by-repetition.
Japanese culture is symbolised by its traditional handiwork. The Japanese tradition which broadcasted tidy and neat sense of beauty denies intellect and project the information straightforwardly. Repeated "propaganda" for spirituality and religious-nature as an inherent essence of Japanese traditional culture ... consciousness of the limitation of everything that exists ... Spirituality which stages modesty. What is required now is to explain this limited context of creativity undelying in Japanese artistic scene to the information society which functions logically and on the basis of knowledge; it is necessary to creat "the present" in Japanese art by weaving the weft of intellect and logic into the warp of linearity.
Born in 1947 in Japan, Makoto Hatori apprenticed to master potter Ken Fujiwara in 1969. He then earned a degree in sculpture at Nihon University, College of Arts and went on to study technology at the Gifu Prefectural Institute of Ceramics. By 1975, he had established his own studio in Ibaraki┼ia region in eastern Japan┼j, where he still works today. Since 1978 the artist has participated in numerous exhibitions in Japan, Italy, Great Britain, New Zealand, Egypt, Belgium, Germany, Lithuania, U.S.A., Croatia, South Africa, Australia, Taiwan, Estonia, Korea, Spain, Hungary. 1992, he taught ceramics at Manchester Metropolitan University Department of Art and Desigin. 1994┼`1996, Makoto is member of Contemporary Applied Arts in England. 1996,98 Invited to International Ceramic Symposium by Lithuania Panevezyo City Council. 1997 Invited to " Earth and Fire" Craft Potters Association Great Britain. 2006 Invited to " Wodfiring symposium" - Organised program for 2006- by International Ceramics Studio in Hungary. 2007 Invited to International Ceramic Magazine Editors Association (ICMEA) by ICMEA and FuLe International Ceramic Art Museum, Fuping, Shaanxi, China. He has published a number of articles and reviews on ceramic art. His works are included in the collections of South African, Korean, Hungarian, UK museums.
1993 - 48th Faenza International Ceramic Art Competition, Italy. "Guidepost of Bamboo Sprout"
1994 - Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award 1994, New Zealand. "Bamboo Sprout"
1994 - The 2nd Cairo International Biennal for Ceramics, Egypt. "Procreation"
1996 - Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award 1996, New Zealand. "Cluster"
1996 - International Biennial Ceramic Festival in Andenne, Belgium. "Guidepost"
1996 - Salzbrand Keramik '96, Handwerkskammer Koblenz, Germany. "Wood-fired Faceted Vases"
1997 - Contemporary Art Works of Faith '97, The Fifteen Biennial Exhibition,The Liturgical Art Guild, USA "Parasitism "
1998 - 4th Cairo International Biennal for Ceramics, Egypt "Surges"
1998 - Ceramics Biennal 1998, Association of Potters of Southern Africa. "Sa-bi"
1998 - International Ceramist Juried Biennal Exhibition, USA. "Te-n : Heven"
2000 - 5th Cairo International Biennal for Ceramics, Egypt "You-hen Faceted Vase"
2000 - 19th Gold Coast International Ceramic Art Award, Australia "Origin"
2000 - The Sixth Taiwan Golden Ceramics Awards, Taiwan, "The Composition of Sa-bi"
2000 / Tallinn Applied Art Triennial 2000, Estonia. "Gou: Karma"
2000 - Altech Ceramics Biennal 2000, Association of Potters of Southern Africa. "You-hen Vases"
2001 - The1st World Ceramic Biennale 2001 Korea, International Competition. "On the Lmpulse of Curiosity"
2002 - Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award 2002, Australia. "On Instinct"
2002 - Salzbrand Keramik 2002, Handwerkskammer Koblenz, Germany. "Altered Vase"
2003 - " Two by Two" Gallery of Art, Eastern Washington University, USA. "The Root"
2003 - World Ceramic Biennale 2003 Korea, International Competition. "Barley Field"
2003 - 6th International Biennale of Ceramics Manises, Spain. "Ballooning Body"
2004 - 2004 Juried Wood Fire Exhibition, Iowa Hall Gallery, Kirkwood Community College, USA. "Twisted Vase"
2005 - 1st International Triennial of Silicate Arts, Hungary. "Faceted Jar with Lid"
2005 - 54th Faenza International Ceramic Art Competition, Italy. "Front Shrine"
2008 - Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award 2008, Australia. "Argue for Arguement's Sake
2010 - Ceramics meet non-ceramic materials - at Gallery Galatea, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
1978, 79, 81, 82 ,85 ,87, 89, 90& 91 - Recent Work of Traditional Art Crafts, Nihon Kogeikai, Japan
1986 - " Asahi " Arts and Crafts Exhibition, Japan
1994 - " Studio Ceramics '94 " Craft Potters Association of Great Britain, Faceted Water Pot
1997 - " Party Pieces " Craft Potters Association of Great Britain
Faceted You-hen Water Pot with Lid, Faceted Jar with Lid, Faceted You-hen Water Pot with Lid, Faceted Vase with Leg, Long Neck Vase, Faceted Vase with Lump
1999 - " Edge to Edge " Victorian Ceramic Group, Australia. Faceted Jar with Lid.
Other Mixed Exhibitions:
1995 - Exhibition of Completion Memory, Ibaraki Ceramics Research Center, Ibaraki, Japan. "Landscape"
1995 - " Cans-but with lids" Handwerkskammer Koblenz, Germany. Can with Lid.
1997 - World Triennal Exhibition of Small Ceramics, Zagreb, Croatia. Faceted Incense Burner. Faceted You-hen Vase, You-hen Vase
2000 - " Ibaraki Ceramic's Today " Ibaraki Prefectural Museum of Ceramic Art, Japan. "Matsuri: Festival", "0men"
2003 - Keramika Sisak 1700 (International Charitable Exhibition of Art Ceramics), Croatia. "Conflict"
2004 - " Form of Autonomous Ceramics " Ibaraki Prefectural Museum of Ceramic Art, Japan. "Spread"
2005 / International Chawan Exhibition 2005, St. Benardus Abbey in Hemiksem, Belgium. Wood-fired Teabowl with Wadding Mark
1993 - Victoria & Albert Museum (U.K.), " Ring", Bizen-styly Facetd Mizu-sashi
1993 - Stoke-on-Trent City Museum (U.K.), " Great Britain "
1993 - Reading City Museum (U.K.), Bizen-style Mizu-sashi
1994 - Manchester City Art Gallery (U.K.), You-hen Vase, " Day and Night"
1996 - The British Museum (U.K.), Bizen-style Long-necked Ovoid Pottery Vase, Bizen-style Cylindrical Lidded Pottery Mizu-sashi, Bizen-style Wide-mouthed Bulbous Vase
1996 - Panevezys Civic Art Gallery (Lithuania), " Mizu no Hamon┼i Water Ripples )", " Mu "
1997 - The Liturgical Art Guild (U.S.A.), " Parasitism "
1988 - Panevezys Civic Art Gallery (Lithuania), " Cloud of Mushroom", " 5 - 7-5 "
1999 - Zanesville Art Center (U.S.A.), " Te-n : Heaven "
1999 - Victorian Ceramic Group (Australia), Faceted Jar with Lid
2000 - Pretoria Art Museum, Gauteng (South Africa), You-hen Vases
2001 - Inchon World Ceramic Center (Korea), " On the Lmpulse of Curiosity "
2002 - Gallery of Art, Eastern Washington University (U.S.A.), " The Root "
2003 - World Ceramic Exposition Foundation, Inchon World Ceramic Center (Korea), " Barley Field "
2004 - Iowa Hall Gallery, Kirkwood Community College ( U.S.A.), " Twisted Vase "
2005 - Foundation for Contemporary Ceramic Arts ( Hungary ), Faceted Jar with Lid
2005 - Ceramic Study Center ( Belgium ), Bizen-style Teabowls "
2006 - International Ceramics Studio ( Hungary ), " Phse Inversion", " 2006 Wodfiring symposium "
"Marketing Conditions in Britain for Japanese Potters through the eyes of a Japanese Potter"
LA CERAMIQUE MODERNE, JOURNAL TECHNIQUE ET ARTISTIQUE MENSUEL, Nombre 337, pp.10-11 ( FEVRIER 1994 ) 22, rue Le Brun -75013 PARIS
" Facing Tradition "
Ceramics Monthly, Vol.43, p.96 ( May 1995 )
" A Potter's Look at Tradition "
Ceramics Monthly, Vol.45, pp.56-59 ( January 1997 )
" Architecture in Potters - Lithuania, Panevezys International Ceramic Symposium -"
CPA News, The Newsletter of the Craft Potters Association of Great Britain, ( January/Febuary 1999 )┼@
" Two Wheels of Japan "
Ceramics Monthly, Vol.47, pp.110-112 ( May 1999 )
" Kaiseki "
CPA News, The Newsletter of the Craft Potters Association of Great Britain, Number76, p.6
( March/April 2001 )
" Traditional Japanese Pottery as a Spirit - Influence of Zen -"┼@
LA CERAMIQUE MODERNE, JOURNAL TECHNIQUE ET ARTISTIQUE MENSUEL, Nombre 480, pp.12-13 (JUIN 2003) 22, rue Le Brun -75013 PARIS┼@
" Linearity in Tradition "
This article was added in the www.studiopottery.co.uk - the UK's leading on line information site linking potters, galleries and collectors with a shared enthusiasm for Studio Ceramics. ( October 2003 )
" Beauty of Soul, Beauty of Form: Naturally-glazed Ceramics and Haiku "
The Log Book, Issue 22. 2005, pp.3-7, The International Publication for Woodfirers and those interested in Woodfired Ceramics - P.O.Box 612, Scariff,Co.Clare, Republic of Ireland.
was held from 22 to 25 April at Gallery Galatea, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
Makoto Hatori's statement about this exhibition is set out below: