Breaking Boundaries: Hitomi Hosono, Ceramic Art, Manga and the Portland Vase

Hitomi Hosono, Ceramic Artist
Ryoko Matsuba, Senior Digital Humanities Officer, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, University of East Anglia
Judy Rudoe, Curator, British Museum

WHERE? Lecture Theatre

WHEN? Wednesday 03 July 2019

Alternate Text
Hitomi Hosono, from Tajimi, the Stoke-on-Trent of Japan, has transformed herself into a truly transnational artist able to create exceptional ceramic art in a variety of modalities that transcends national boundaries. In this talk at Masterpiece her work is addressed through three different perspectives unified through three of her works acquired by the British Museum, one of which was displayed at Masterpiece last year. The three speakers, Hitomi Hosono the artist, Ryoko Matsuba a curator of the current Citi Exhibition Manga and Judy Rudoe, a Senior Curator at the British Museum, examine different angles of Hitomi’s work and why it matters to current artistic practice, currency among shifting generations and national heritage.

HITOMI HOSONO is one of the UK’s leading ceramic artists and is greatly admired for her painstakingly fine works in porcelain. She has an exceptional talent for creating works of art so delicate that the porcelain leaves and flowers which decorate her vessels almost appear to ‘dance’. Following a degree in ornamental pottery at Kanazawa College of Art in Japan, Hitomi spent a year studying in Denmark before gaining an MA in ceramics at the Royal College of Art in London. She has since settled in London and captured the imagination and acclaim of both private collectors and museums. Her pieces are held in the permanent collections of internationally renowned institutions, including the British Museum, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Musée Guimet, Paris, France; LACMA, Los Angeles, USA. She was also the first artist-in-residence at Wedgwood, where she designed a collection of jasper pieces launched in 2018.

Alongside Hitomi’s expertise and devotion to porcelain, she has held a life-long passion for the art of manga, Japanese comic books and graphic novels with a twist. This summer, the British Museum is exhibiting the largest ever collection of manga outside of Japan, The Citi exhibition Manga. This will include a collection of porcelain works by Hitomi that she has decorated with highly detailed manga drawings to illustrate a fantastical story featuring the adventures of a fictitious porcelain character. Hitomi Hosono is represented by Adrian Sassoon, London with work exhibited at Masterpiece on Stand B26.

RYOKO MATSUBA is a specialist on Edo period printed culture. She is currently Senior Digital Humanities Officer at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, University of East Anglia. She is a co-curator of the Citi Exhibition Manga currently on display at the British Museum and co-author of the catalogue published by Thames and Hudson.  She received her PhD from Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto and in addition to her curatorial work on the current Manga exhibition at the British Museum, she has also provided curatorial and catalogue support on the earlier Shunga: Sex and Humour in Japanese Art and Literature (2013); Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave (2017) exhibitions.

She is coordinating a project to create an open access comprehensive digital archive of the Japanese paintings, prints, illustrated books, and decorative arts in the UK Museum's collections. 

Curator at the British Museum since 1974, JUDY RUDOE is responsible for the 19th to 21th century European collections, which range from ceramics, glass, silver and jewellery to traditional and regional textiles, basketry, woodwork and metalwork. She is the senior curator for the medieval to modern section. Her publications include Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection (1991, 2nd ed. 1994), Cartier 1900-1939 (1997, published to accompany the exhibition at the British Museum) and, most recently, Jewellery in the age of Queen Victoria. A Mirror to the World (2010) co-authored with Charlotte Gere and winner of the 2011 William B Berger prize for British Art History.