Born as the third generation to a family of potters, Hiroaki Morino Taimei (b. 1934) has had a long and instinctive involvement with clay. As a child, he likely wandered into his father’s studio only to be thrown a ball of clay to occupy his curious, active hands.
Morino went on to study ceramics at the Kyoto City University of Arts where he had the opportunity to study under Living National Treasures (ningen kokuhō) Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963) and Fujimoto Yoshimichi “Nōdō” (1919-1992). Kenkichi once told Morino, jibun no mono o tsukure, which translates to “find your own way”. This left a strong impression on the artist, who responded by spending much of his career seeking to bring out igaisei, “unexpectedness”, in his works.
This sculpture reflects the playful and whimsical nature of the artist. Some of the corners are painted in a gold glaze with playing card suits that are painted in an emerald color. The mysterious figure is irregular and organic, drawing on our curiosity to come closer and inspect its various expressions from different angles. It is a manifestation of Morino’s intimate connection to clay, a medium the artist knows as well as his flesh and blood.
*(Morino baked the pieces in this series at a low temperature to achieve his desired effects. The pieces are prone to chip. There are a few small chips on the edge of this piece and is priced accordingly.)