Edmund de WAAL

Manchester Art Gallery – Craft Gallery – Modern Japanese Design


‘The Fascination of What’s Difficult’

Sited in the newly refurbished Craft gallery are a sequence of six black lacquer lead-lined boxes each containing a trio of plain thrown porcelain cylinders in celadon and white glazes, their interiors gilded, reminiscent of the threads of gold used to mend the cracks and wounds in Japanese tea bowls and vases.This ancient Japanese art form recognises and values the beauty in brokenness, a philosophy that encourages us to embrace our wounds and to find beauty within our brokenness.

Edmund de Waal was born in 1964 in a traditional Christian household, his father was Dean at Canterbury Cathedral, his mother a well respected devotional writer and retreat leader. He studied English at Cambridge University and ceramics in both England and Japan. Best known for his large scale installations, he has exhibited in many museums around the world. “Recent work has been concerned with ideas of collecting and collections; how objects are kept together, lost, stolen or dispersed. His work comes out of a dialogue between minimalism, architecture and music, and is informed by his passion for literature.”

Click here to read the reflection and praxis that accompanies this art work.

Images courtesy of the artist.