Born of Fire: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists

Watson Galleries, February 1 - April 29, 2023

Born of Fire: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists

About the Exhibition

Women have traditionally played only a minor role in Japan's long history in clay.  Born of Fire: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists features a selection of works by living emerging and internationally established Japanese women ceramic artists.  Pioneering new forms and technical and aesthetic innovations in the medium, these remarkable artists are breaking barriers and forging new ways of creating and thinking about ceramics that reflect changes occurring in contemporary Japanese art and society. The works express the influence of nature, innovations in ceramic making techniques, and a diverse array of practices.  

These ceramics offer a contemporary and artistic counterpart to W&L’s traditional and functional Senshin'an Tea Room and its tea-wares. Encountering the works in this exhibition gives us the opportunity to expand our understanding of Japanese culture and art through a medium that straddles the old and the new. As the Museums at W&L continues to broaden its interpretation of ceramic history, we invite you to reflect on ceramics as a global art form and clay as a medium that spans many continents.

This exhibit is free and open to the public, with a scheduled reception and Curator Talk on Wednesday, March 8, from 5 - 7 PM.

Born of Fire: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists is organized by The Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas. This exhibition was curated by Dr. Jacqueline Chao, with the help of Senior Curator of Art, Patricia Hobbs, and Janet Ikeda, Associate Professor of Japanese.

Artists: Fukumoto Fuku, Tokuda Yasokichi IV, Katsumata Chieko, Matsuda Yuriko, Koike Shōko, Kishi Eiko, Mori Aya, Hayashi Kaku, Futamura Yoshimi, Tanaka Tomomi, Inaba Chikako, Fujikasa Satoko, Yamamoto Junko, Takatsu Mio, and Kitamura Junko.

Above Images: Katsumoto Fuku, Katsumata Chieko, Untitled, 2009; Koike Shoko, Untitled, 2009; Matsuda Yuriko, In Her Shoes, 2008

Crow Museum of Asian Art

Museums at Washington and Lee University

Events and Programming

Born of Fire Lecture

March 8, 2023: 5 – 6 p.m.

Leyburn Library, Northen Auditorium

The Museums at W&L invite you to a lecture by Dr. Jacqueline Chao, curator of Born of Fire and scholar of Asian art, in Northen Auditorium, followed by a reception in Watson Galleries. The evening celebrates women ceramicists exhibited in Born of Fire. The event is free and open to all members of the W&L community and the public.

Born of Fire Gallery Reception

March 8, 2023: 6:15 – 7:00 p.m.

Watson Galleries

Join the Museums at W&L for a gallery reception for Born of Fire following the lecture. The event is free and open to all members of the W&L community and the public. Food and drink provided – IDs required for consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Women’s Day Tea

March 4, 2023: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Watson Galleries

All are invited to the W&L Chanoyu Tea Society’s special Women’s Day Tea on Saturday, March 4, 2023.  In conjunction with Women’s History Month, we will be serving sweets and matcha tea to honor the accomplishments of women from around the world.

There will be three 30-minute seatings: 1:00 pm, 1:45 pm, and 2:30 pm.

Slow Art Day

April 15, 2023: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Museums at W&L is celebrating Slow Art Day, a quiet international art movement. For anyone interested in taking the time to learn new techniques for viewing art, join Elizabeth Spear, Curator of Academic Engagement, for 50-minute guided sessions of close-looking at pieces from Born of Fire: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists and Mother Clay: The Pottery of Three Pueblo Women.

Lunch and Learn - Women in the World

Mondays in March and April, 2023: 12:15 - 1:00 p.m.

Join the Museums at W&L for short, informal talks inspired by our latest exhibitions. Food and refreshments are provided, but be sure to sign up quick. Each lecture requires a reservation and they are filling fast!