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The process of producing vessels of white porcelain is regarded as being exceptionally difficult, since, as it is baked in a furnace, small particles can easily permeate inside, and they can dye the porcelain forms, thus disrupting the whole process. One of the most outstanding contemporary hakuji artist is Manji Inoue (born 1929), the Japanese creator who was awarded, in 1995, with the honourable title of The Living National Treasure(Ningen Kokuhō).

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Hakuji (literally: white porcelain) is a type of Japanese porcelain made from high quality white clay and covered with a colourless glaze. White porcelain was invented in China at the end of the period of Southern and Northern Dynasties (420–589). At the beginning of the 17th century, Nabeshima Naoshige, the Japanese feudal lord of the Saga clan, brought a group of ceramicists from Korea. Among them, was the famous artist Ri Sampei, who, in 1616, discovered white clay of high quality near Mount Izumi (Jap. Izumiyama). Once it started to be used, it initiated the production of vessels made of hakuji porcelain.
The process of producing vessels of white porcelain is regarded as being exceptionally difficult, since, as it is baked in a furnace, small particles can easily permeate inside, and they can dye the porcelain forms, thus disrupting the whole process. One of the most outstanding contemporary hakuji artist is Manji Inoue (born 1929), the Japanese creator who was awarded, in 1995, with the honourable title of The Living National Treasure (Ningen Kokuhō). The master's approach to his art is characterised by austerity and moral discipline. As he says: a form is the most important element of the process of producing white porcelain, as the form in itself is a project. The presented porcelain vessel is the artist's gift to the Manggha Museum.

Elaborated by Wioletta Laskowska-Smoczyńska (The Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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“Hakuji” vessel by Manji Inoue

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