The aesthetic qualities of serenity and the sublime coalesce within Mihara's work. In essence, these qualities are the scents of Japan, a culture which has traditionally searched for beauty within wabi-sabi austerity, spiritual simplicity, and the cherishing of patina. The natural landscapes of his high-fired stoneware facades were borne through multiple and extremely difficult kiln-firings, with each firing revealing a new element to a work's clay flavour. His new forms exhibit a stark, bulb-esque minimalism. Mihara's new works pulsate with a relaxed and assured confidence in his own. Furthermore, the new work also exhibits a far greater range of tones, from the poetically austere to vivid oranges and blues, which are a result of a revamped firing technique that he has further tweaked from the experiments of his past Kigen (Genesis) series. His deeply spiritual works poignantly strike at the heart, and his new works exhibit the artist leaning further towards minimalistic simplicity.
Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo
Ken Mihara was born in 1958 in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. After completing his studies in 1982 with Funaki Kenji, Mihara participated in numerous exhibitions and prizes. In 2005, he received a grant from Tomo Museum to travel for 6 months throughout Italy, from Milan, then south to Florence, Rome and Sicily. Mihara has been the recipient of many prizes and awards, including the prestigious Japan Ceramic Society Award in 2008; Paramita Ceramics Competition, Paramita Museum, Japan in 2006; The Energia Art Award in 2002 and the Shizuoka Prefecture’s Cultural Encouragement Award in 2009. Mihara has exhibited internationally with SOFA New York, New York (2008), Galerie Besson, London (2010), and most recently with Joan B Mirviss Gallery, New York (2011). His works are held in public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles and The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Since 1996, he has been represented by Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.
Ken Mihara is one of the most renowned Japanese ceramists today. Hailing from Izumo, home to mystic landscapes that gave birth to the great majority of Japan's legends, Mihara's works call to mind the spiritual aesthetics of ceremonial vessels. Yet at the same time, his ceramics embody a deeply introspective and Zen tranquility.