The Beauty of Imperfection: Japanese Aesthetics through the Lens of Ceramics
Join us as we take a historical tour through Japanese aesthetics through the lens of ceramics. From indigenous Jomon work from 10,000 years ago to the six ancient kilns in what we call medieval times to contemporary work, we will explore the interplay of Japanese geography, culture, history, spirituality, and art. We will examine the strong influence from China and Korea and subsequent unique Japanese adaptation: the effects from the Sakoku period (nearly 200 years of isolation); the evolving nature of wabi-sabi and impact of the tea ceremony on form, function, and beauty; the connections to other art forms such as printmaking and sumi ink drawing; and links to Western art. Along the way we will reflect on the inherent contradictions that exist in Japanese society and how their practice of beauty and mindfulness impact our world today.
Jonathan Silverman is a professor emeritus from Saint Michael’s College where he coordinated the arts education program and taught courses on the creative process, integrated curriculum, and aesthetic perspectives for many years. He maintains his artistic identity through ceramics and watercolors, highly influenced by Japanese aesthetics. In the fall of 2019, he was a visiting professor in the Graduate Holistic Education Program at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. In addition, he has led two college study trips to Japan and in the fall of 2023, he led ten artisans from the Shelburne Craft School to visit and experience master artisans in Japan. Jonathan is an active member of International Society for Art Education and is a co-principal editor of their art education journal, IMAG.