Japan Foundation Exhibition “Yakishime: Earth Metamorphosis” Inaugurated at PNCA



Japan Foundation Exhibition “Yakishime: Earth Metamorphosis” Inaugurated at PNCA
Islamabad: 15th February 2024
To showcase the depth of traditional Japanese cultural heritage from its earliest origins to contemporary works, a Japan Foundation’s travelling pottery exhibition “Yakishime: Earth Metamorphosis”, one of the most basic or primitive means of producing ceramics, opened up at the National Art Gallery of the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) for visitors to get familiar with this unique and centuries old cultural facet of Japan. The exhibition, which runs until February 29, is jointly organized by the Japan Foundation and the Embassy of Japan in Islamabad in collaboration with the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).

H.E. Mr. Jamal Shah, the Caretaker Federal Minister for National Heritage & Culture, and H.E. Mr. WADA Mitsuhiro, the Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, together with the other distinguished guests inaugurated the exhibition on Thursday February 15 at the National Art Gallery to provide an opportunity to the visitors to witness the evolution of yakishime from its ancient roots to contemporary expressions.

This captivating showcase focuses on a traditional Japanese ceramics technique yakishime (firing unglazed wares at extremely high temperatures) and introduces its history and evolution that has developed in distinctive directions in Japan from 4th and 5th centuries through present day. It features  over 80 exquisite pieces from the earliest examples to the present through yakishime wares, tea vessels, food vessels, jars, containers and more that have become an essential part of everyday life in Japan. It also presents a wide range of non-utilitarian objects created by the contemporary ceramic artists working in yakishime styles aiming to provide an opportunity to communicate this distinctively Japanese sensibility and aesthetic to the people abroad.
H.E. Ambassador WADA, while speaking at the inaugural ceremony, expressed his deep admiration for this time-honored traditional Japanese art of producing ceramic art and crafts, and said that “one of the unique characteristics of Japanese culture is the fusion and coexistence of tradition and innovation. We are good at adding new interpretation to tradition, while respecting old methods and tastes.”

Ambassador WADA mentioned that Pakistan is also known as a production center of traditional potteries with Blue Pottery from Multan which has common attractions with Yakishime. “I feel a sense of warmth and simplicity from both of them”, he further added.

The Ambassador said both Japan and Pakistan have rich and diverse cultural heritage and the cultural linkages between the two friendly nations, and it can be traced back in history such as the Gandhara civilization.  “In terms of the fusion of tradition and innovation, I am looking forward to see the new phase of Pakistan’s traditional arts in next generation as well”, the Ambassador further added.

The Ambassador expressed his appreciation for Pakistan National Council of the Arts for extending their collaboration in arranging this exhibition at the National Art Gallery.