Painting in red: the Kakiemon porcelain legacy in Japan’s past, present and future

10月20日2016年 | 6 PM

Weston Room
Cathedral Hostry
Norwich NR1 4DH

Prof Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere
Sainsbury Institute
and IFAC Handa Curator of Japanese Art, The British Museum

About the Lecture

This year is the 400th anniversary of the birth of porcelain in the town of Arita in Saga Prefecture, Japan. This lecture will examine in detail the past, present and possible future of the Kakiemon kiln which has been in operation in Arita for almost 370 years, under the same family management.

The Kakiemon kiln is still modeled on the traditional Japanese early modern workshop system. Succession is based on the principle of iemoto or ‘head of the household’, the oldest son inheriting and sustaining the brand and workshop. The current head of the kiln is Kakiemon XV. He recently received the title following the death of his greatly admired father Kakiemon XIV in 2013.

Historically, the Kakiemon workshop produced some of the most exquisite porcelain for export to Europe and the Middle East, notably in the later 1600s. In 1647 Sakaida Kizaemon was credited with introducing the overglaze enameling technique to the Arita porcelain kilns, making advanced porcelain production possible and starting the potting dynasty. Classic Kakiemon style, lasting from 1670 to 1700, is defined by its refined yet sparse decoration executed with bright overglaze enamels in a palette of orange-red, green, blue and yellow.

The classic style Kakiemon style, however, ceased production in Japan the 18th century, but its popularity continued and the style was reproduced in China and in Europe. In Japan there was a revival in the mid-20th century of traditional Kakiemon style due to the ingenuity of Kakiemon XII and Kakiemon XIII and post WWII regional regeration funding by the central Japanese government. For his efforts and artistry, Kakiemon XIII was awarded from the Japanese government ‘Living National Treasure’ status for his revitalisation of the classic Kakiemon style. His son, Kakiemon XIV continued the legacy of his father while also developing the Kakiemon brand through inspired naturalistic designs. Kakiemon XV is now poised to take the revitalised Kakiemon legacy forward.

To book your seat, please go to the booking form or email the Sainsbury Institute

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Admission free. All welcome. Places are limited and booking is essential.

About the Speaker

Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere is the founding Director of the Sainsbury Institute and Professor of Japanese Art and Culture at the University of East Anglia. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 1998. She spent three years on secondment as a Visiting Professor in Cultural Resource Studies at Tokyo University (2006-2009). From Summer 2011 she is Research Director of the Sainsbury Institute. She is currently seconded to the British Museum as IFAC Handa Curator of Japanese Art in the Department of Asia.

About the Third Thursday Lecture Series

Every Third Thursday of the month, the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures hosts a lecture on a topic related to the art and culture of Japan. Talks begin at 6pm (50-minute lecture followed by refreshments). Speakers are all specialists in their field and the talks are intended to be accessible to those with no prior knowledge of Japanese history.

The lecture are normally held at the Weston Room, Cathedral Hostry, Norwich NR1 4DH. The Third Thursday Lecture series is funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Yakult and the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Charitable Trust.

Admission is free and all are welcome. Booking essential.
To book your seat, please go to the booking form or email the Sainsbury Institute

Book seat

Future Lectures

17 November 2016 | Masumi Yamanaka
Botanical artist, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Flora Japonica (as part of Toshiba Lectures in Japanese Art and Science 2016 lecture series)

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15 December 2016 | Simon Kaner
Head of Centre for Archaeology and Heritage
Twinning the ancients: observations on current Anglo-Japanese archaeological exchanges

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Third Thursday Lectures is a monthly lecture series supported by

TTL logo GBSF Yakult

Image: Boy on a Go Board, Classic Kakiemon style, c. 1670-1690, The British Museum