Toshiko Takaezu

American, 1922–2011

Moon pot, 2002


14.1 x 12.7 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift from the collection of Robert and Meridel Archambeau



Ceramic, Studio

Toshiko Takaezu’s delicate porcelain vase features irregular, freely painted striations of different coloured glazes suggesting organic and geological qualities. The scale of its tiny pinprick opening—constituting the vessel’s mouth—renders the vase non-functional, emphasizing the tension between historical ceramics and contemporary pursuits in a medium that often abandons functionalism. Takaezu was among the first generation of ceramists to challenge functionality without abandoning the actual vessel form. The vase is unmistakably a container, yet its construction and sheer fragility demands that it be purely decorative. Her practice—described as revolutionary—explores clay as an independent aesthetic medium and takes inspirations from her American, Hawaiian, and Japanese heritage.

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