special exhibition


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18th October to 22nd November 2015

"Ken Mihara"



Born in 1958 and now very much at the peak of his career, Ken Mihara is one of the most sought-after Japanese ceramicists of his generation. He is represented in over thirty museum collections, of which more than half are outside Japan, mainly in the USA, but also in Argentina, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom. The iron-rich clay he uses is local to where he lives in Izumo, famous as the home to one of Japan’s grandest and most ancient Shinto shrines. His serene and always distinctive forms are hand-built from coils of clay, a method of making that gives him a degree of freedom much greater than that afforded by more commonly used techniques such as slab-building and wheel-throwing. The magical combination of blues, purples, pinks and oranges that has become the hallmark of his oeuvre is achieved not through the application of pigments or glazes, but by the particular method of firing he uses. Mihara’s gas kiln holds between two and four works depending on size. Each work is bisque-fired and then covered in silica slip before the first of two high-temperature firings. The refractory silica, which he scrapes away after the first high-temperature firing, protects the clay from direct contact with the flames in the kiln and prepares it for the release of colours that takes place during the final firing. Mihara thinks of his clay as being imbued with memories, memories which can be coaxed out in the form of colours whose always different configurations result from the use of varying cycles of oxidation and reduction. His approach is not scientific but intuitive. He does not measure and record. Like his clay he remembers, anticipating but not always knowing exactly how his forms will respond to the swirling incandescence of the kiln. His is a form of alchemy, perhaps, and one that truly succeeds in making something out of nothing.

Relating to this exhibition a publication about the creation of Ken Mihara has been released.



Mindscapes 1 - Front
Mindscapes 1 - Back
Mindscapes 2 - Front


Mindscapes 2 - Back
Mindscapes 3 - Front
Mindscapes 3 - Back


Mindscapes 4 - Front
Mindscapes 4 - Back
Mindscapes 5


Mindscapes 6 - Front
Mindscapes 6 - Back
Mindscapes 7 - Front


Mindscapes 7 - Back
Mindscapes 8 - Front
Mindscapes 8 - Back




Mindscapes 9
Mindscapes 10 - Front
Mindscapes 10 - Back


Mindscapes 11
Mindscapes 12 - Front
Mindscapes 12 - Back


Mindscapes 13 - Front
Mindscapes 13 - Back
Mindscapes 14 - Front


Mindscapes 14 - Back


Sun, 18th October, 2015 11:30 – 18
Opening Speech: Dr. Rupert Faulkner Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Ken Mihera will be present

Sunday, 22nd November, 2015 11:00 - 18

opening hours:

Tue – Fri 11 – 13 & 14.30 – 18:
Sat 11 – 18

exhibition site:

Galerie Heller
Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 2
Im Stadtgarten
D-69117 Heidelberg

Tel: 06221 - 61 90 90


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