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.