Rethinking Bernard Leach: studio pottery and contemporary ceramics (Japanese edition)

de Waal, Edmund and Kaneko, Kenji (2007) Rethinking Bernard Leach: studio pottery and contemporary ceramics (Japanese edition). Shibunkaku Publishing Co. , Kyoto, Japan. ISBN 9784784213597

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My research into Orientalism came about through pioneering work on the British potter Bernard Leach. I was awarded a two year Daiwa-Anglo Japanese Scholarship to learn Japanese in order to research at the Mingei-kan the Japanese Folkcraft Museum,in the archives of Soetsu Yanagi, Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada. This archive held crucial correspondence and journals hitherto unanalysed. My research allowed for a new interpretation of Leach’s construction of his authority, revealing both how scant his knowledge of Japan was and how much of his thinking was based on the British Arts and Crafts Movement. This research led to a number of conference papers in Britain, America and Australia and to a monograph Bernard Leach (Tate Publishing 1998). This had a considerable impact as the first ‘de-mystifying’ study of Leach. It was widely reviewed internationally and has had two further editions, continuing to be a source of some controversy. In 2006 a new edition of this book was published in Japan with four new additional essays on the Leach tradition, and an introduction by Kenjki Kaneko, Director of the National Museum of Craft in Tokyo. The additional chapters focus on the critical reputation of Leach in Britain and America since 1970, and on the growth of alternative canons of historical ceramics. This book is the first contextual academic study of Leach to be published in Japan, and has already caused considerable interest. Further research into the projection of ‘authentic‘ lifestyle has led to the publication of two extensive chapters in major books: ‘Art without Finish’: Japanese Arts in the West’ in Timeless Beauty Japanese Art from the Montogmory Collection (Skira 2002) and ‘The Cultures of Collecting and Display’ in International Arts and Crafts ed by Karen Livingstone and Linda Parry (V&A Publications 2005.) Aspects of this research have been given in keynote lectures at conferences at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Harvard University, the Peabody Museum, Salem, Masssachusets and at Cambridge University.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: University of Westminster > Media, Arts and Design
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 19 May 2008 13:02
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2011 14:33

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