Matsui Kosei Memorial Exhibition
3 October (Fri) to 23 December (Tue), 2003
This retrospective exhibition featured the works of potter Matsui Kosei (1927–2003). Matsui, who passed suddenly in April 2003, was the first potter to be designated an “Important Intangible Cultural Property” (that is, recognized as a “living national treasure”) among those born in the Showa period (1926-1988), and was best known for the marbling technique (neriage-de) he used to create works similar to agateware.
Neriage-de, a technique requiring great skill, involves combining different colored clays together to form complex marbling patterns in the resulting fired pieces. Matsui studied and honed this technique all his life, eventually originating a process by which he used the same base clay for all of the layers, mixing in small amounts of intense colorants to achieve his desired chromatic effects in each. He also found ways to produce such marbled wares on the pottery wheel, something previously thought to be impossible, and this and other contributions had a profound effect on many of those who followed. This exhibition highlighted seventeen of Matsui's works that had previously been shown at the Shiseido-sponsored Exhibition of Modern Industrial Arts series (1975–1995), along with photos of the potter at work, interviews, and other materials recalling his achievements with the neriage-de technique.