Year of Publication
Master of Arts (MA)
Art and Visual Studies
Dr. Andrew Maske
The use and firing of clay to make art instead of vessels was a revolutionary concept in Japan when it first was introduced by Hayashi Yasuo in 1948 with Cloud, and expanded upon by Yagi Kazuo in 1954 with Mr. Samsa’s Walk. Although both avant-garde artists were major forces in the advancement of abstract, nonfunctional ceramics, Yagi is usually given sole credit and occupies a prominent place in the literature, while Hayashi’s name can scarcely be found, despite his numerous international awards, large body of work and career spanning seven decades. This thesis seeks to identify the factors that influenced the direction of their careers and the unbalanced reception of their work. It compares their backgrounds, personality traits, avant-garde affiliations, and positions on art and ceramics, in relation to the norms and prerequisites for success in Kyoto’s deeply stratified, convention-bound ceramic community. The pervasive practice of rating and society’s emphasis on affiliation and rank were significant forces in this situation, as were issues that divided Japan’s art world -- the separation and unequal ranking of fine art and traditional craft, or the value of individual expression versus technique and tradition. Ultimately, this study reveals an insular world during a decade (1946–56) of crisis and transition that is rarely studied in the West from the perspective of ceramic art.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Swan, Marilyn Rose, "HAYASHI YASUO AND YAGI KAZUO IN POSTWAR JAPANESE CERAMICS: THE EFFECTS OF INTRAMURAL POLITICS AND RIVALRY FOR RANK ON A CERAMIC ARTIST’S CAREER" (2017). Theses and Dissertations--Art and Visual Studies. 15.