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Japanese culture in two and three dimensions
1009JapaneseExhibit RW
Japaenese pottery will be on display along through Nov. 6 as part of "Ink and Glaze: Japanese Prints and Pottery," at Gainesville State College's Roy C. Moore Art Gallery in Oakwood.

‘Ink and Glaze: Japanese Prints and Pottery'

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-noon and 2-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays through Nov. 6

Where: Roy C. Moore Art Gallery, Gainesville State College, 3820 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood

How much: Free

More info: 678-717-3697

Visitors to Gainesville State College's Roy C. Moore Art Gallery can delve into Japanese culture at the gallery's newest exhibit, "Ink and Glaze: Japanese Prints and Pottery."

The exhibit focuses on two of Japan's most popular art forms, ceramics and printmaking.

Gallery director John Amoss said GSC alumnus Scott Irvin sparked the idea for the exhibit.

"He just out of the blue contacted me saying that he had a lot of Japanese ceramics mainly dealing with or pertaining to the tea ceremony, and that kind of just prompted me to have a show because I think that the 3-D and the 2-D works really well, you know, kind of complements each other," Amoss said.

A printmaker himself, Amoss drew from his own collection to provide woodblock prints for the show.

"When you go in the show, we've got two kinds of educational posters describing the history and some of the practice of the tea ceremony along with some history and techniques of woodblock, too. It kind of introduces people to how important it is, culturally, the tea ceremony in general, to Japanese culture," he said.

Amoss said the pottery will be accompanied by tea ceremony accessories so visitors can further understand how the ceremony works.

"We also have a little display with tea ceremony accessories - items that would be used with the tea ceremony, which are kind of exquisite in their own right," Amoss said.

"A lot of the pottery, not all, is surprisingly crude, but intentionally so. It looks very organic, rather than, perhaps, man-made. The idea is integration - integration with the moment, the surroundings and the people that you're sharing the ceremony with."

While Japanese pottery is important to everyday aspects of Japanese culture, Japanese woodblock prints are important for their decorative value.

"Ink and Glaze" features prints from the early 1800s to 2002.

Amoss said the more contemporary, "self-printed" works feature a different kind of style.

"(Famous printmaker) Hogusai didn't print or carve the blocks. He was the designer. And so he had this kind of ... different jobs, this definition of labor," Amoss said.

"Later on, after World War II, the woodblock business kind of fell apart, and there wasn't a lot of sales for a lot of reasons," he added. "Artists just kind of took that up to themselves to produce these prints, so you have a little less of a sophisticated look, a little more of a kind of personal attitude about them."

In Japan, well-skilled artists are sometimes honored with the designation of "national living treasure."

One such artist, Osamu Suzuki, is featured in "Ink and Glaze."

Suzuki, honored with the title of national treasure in 1994, created a "chawan," or tea bowl, featured in the show.

"The idea is that they're carrying around valuable information, kind of cultural heritage. They're a living repository of information," Amoss said.

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