The Art of Korean Potters, Debut of Previously-Unknown Rai Korean Art Collection KMB Asian Art of Tokyo presents a special exhibition of important Korean ceramics from Koryo to Choson Periods. Exhibition website http://kmbasianart3.blogspot.com
with the consolidation of major celadon industries near the southwestern coast of the peninsula, in Chôlla Province---the Puan and Kangjin regions especially. The latter remains, today, the center of modern celadon production and of revivals of Koryô traditions. The culmination of Koryô celadon can be seen in inlaid (sanggam) celadon, a rarity in China. The delicate technique of sanggam involves etching the desired motifs on the dry clay body and filling in the carved space with black and/or white slip, after which the translucent glaze is applied and the vessel fired. The best of Koryô inlaid celadon is breathtaking in its splendid presentation of clean form, vibrant design, and subtle yet alluring color combination of white, black, and green. The Rai collection includes many important and beautiful examples of Koryo inlaid celadon. An unusually large covered box with elaborate black and white inlaid decoration under a fine clear sea green glaze is a superb example rarely seen in public and private collection. Two bowls of Koryo inlaid celadon type are also included in this exhibition. Both bowls are fine examples with their fine glaze and rare reverse inlaid designs.
One extremely rare Koryo celadon genre was well-modelled sculptures of animals and human figures. The KMB Asian Art exhibition displays a beautiful recumbent tiger with its teeth enhanced by white slip and its fur stripes painted with iron-brown under a fine even green glaze. Animal-shaped utilitarian vessels is represented by a duck-shaped water dropper with exceptional glaze and incised enhancement to the sculpture, also from the 12th Century.
The beginning of the Choson Dynasty brought about changes in patronage, manufacturing pattern, and aesthetic taste for ceramics productions. A loosely grouped ware called Punch'ong by later scholars flourished during the 15th Century. Both the raw materials and the decorative vocabulary of punch'ông ware owe much to the famed Koryo celadon. The clay and glaze of punch'ông are essentially similar to those of celadon but less processed and refined. Punch'ông's main decorative mode---the use of white slip under the glaze---adapts the inlay technique polished and popularized by the Koryô potters. Punch'ong wares are admired by scholars and connoisseurs for its boldness, earthiness , vibrancy, and Avant Garde energy not seen in any other Asian ceramics. The Rai collection is rich in its collection of important Punch'ong examples. A large jar with elaborate inlaid and stamped decoration from Kyôngsang Province demonstrates the transformation of rigid Koryo decorative motif towards a robust form and modern design. In contrast, the exhibition also features a flask in the shape of a pouch with bold sgraffito design of large peony flowers, a pear-shaped vase with stylized lily flowers, and an oval-shaped bottle with incised fish were produced in Chôlla Province with the typical freely executed and inventive decoration and forms.
Korean white porcelain became popular in the Royal court of Choson period. During late 15th Century, Choson court established a group of kilns called punwon (in today's Kwangju). Early Punwon kilns in 15th/16th Centur produced white porcelains of