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​Perfect Misfits (2022)

This installation of 24 tea bowls demonstrates the glazing skills of KANEKO. These

chawan are “perfect” in that each is a flawless example of craft technique. They are

“misfits” in that they do not conform to any one style of Japanese ceramics. They

have been liberated.


Personal Statement by the Artists


Haruhiko Kaneko once focused on mastering the highest skills of creating chawan

and on recreating historically renowned tea bowls, struggling to be very particular to

achieve what had to be achieved. Weight, shape, glaze color and pattern—

everything had to be done in a certain way. The struggle is funny, when we think

back, because if you use clay and minerals from different places, it’s only natural

that the outcome will be somewhat different.


When we added our Ishigaki Blue glass to traditional Chinese yuteki-tenmoku style

black bowls, they were rejected by experts as “improper” and not accepted as

Japanese traditional chawan craft. Couldn’t the idea be accepted if it’s presented

with perfect skills? No. It’s about the norms of styles.


We saw a cracked ceramic plank displayed at a Saatchi Collect contemporary craft

exhibit in London. The plank flipped our minds. We began using craft-based know-

how to create many glaze types freely. It was just so much fun breaking the laws of

classic glazing style and applying whatever glaze according to our personal desires.

Contemporary art? We didn’t know a thing about it.



Liberating the Chawan: I Am a Tea Bowl.  I Am the Sea.

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