Product Description

7703          Goro Kawamoto (1919-1986)

A ceramic vessel of an elongated oval form with a white glaze

Signed Go to the base

Japan, 20th century

Dimensions: H. 14cm x W.36.5 cm x D. 18cm (5¾” x 14½” x 7¼”)

Tomobako (original box) inscribed:

Lid: titled Kaihaku-yu Chohenko (an elongated vessel with ash white glaze), signed Goro zo (made by Goro) and sealed

Goro Kawamoto was born in Seto city, Aichi prefecture, to a family of potters who produced traditional wares. Seto has been famous for its ceramic production since 10th/11th century and ceramics are often referred to as setomono (lit. Seto things) in Japan. As tradition dictates, he studied ceramic making at Seto Pottery School in Aichi then at the National Ceramic Laboratory in Kyoto. Soon after his study, he was conscripted and sent to the battlefields of China during World War II. After Japan’s defeat, he was held as a POW for a year. This internment brought him a sense of emptiness and changed his values as a potter which led him to produce pieces which were radical and unconventional upon his return to Seto.

Kawamoto continued to pursue this form of new ceramic art though which he could convey his emotions in a tangible form and crystallise his philosophy of the human soul. As such Kawamoto’s works are free and distorted, sometimes resulting in the absence of functionality, but always full of texture and vitality.

During his career, he exhibited at various exhibitions in Japan and internationally and won a number of prizes including:

1953      9th Nitten (the Japan Fine Art Exhibition)

Asahi Modern Ceramics exhibition (winning the top honour)

1958      The World Exposition in Brussels (winning the Grand Prix)

1959      The International Exposition in California (winning the best design prize)

1960      9th Modern Japanese Ceramic Exhibition (winning the top honour)

20th Seto Ceramic Exhibition (winning the top honour)

1965      International crafts special exhibition in Germany (winning the gold prize)

1967      The International Exposition in California (winning the best design prize)

International and Universal Exposition in Montreal

1979      Japanese ceramics today from the Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art, Denver Art Museum, USA

1981      Modern Ceramics from the World, Kyushu Ceramic Museum, Saga, Japan

1983      Contemporary Japanese ceramics (travelling exhibition), Koffler Gallery, Toronto; Fine Arts Gallery, University of British Columbia; Kamloops Public Art Gallery; Musée du Québec; Centre des arts visuels, Montréal; Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, Canada

1987      Arts and Crafts of 1960’s: Rising New Creation, Crafts Gallery, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

1988      In Memory of Goro Kawamoto: Genius of Ceramic Painting, Nagoya Matsuzakaya, Aichi

1990      Discovery of Clay: Modern Ceramics and Primitive Earthenware, The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Shiga

1991      Great Masters of Modern Japanese Ceramics, The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga


Works by the artist can be found in the collections of The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; Aichi Prefectural Ceramic Museum; Paramita Museum, Mie.