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Opening Reception | Peter Hamann: Carving White Translucence




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Thursday, 6 September 2018 to Saturday, 22 September 2018
Thursday, 6 September 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm


Exhibition Dates: September 6 – 22, 2018
Location: Onishi Gallery, 521 W 26th Street, New York City
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 6, 6-8pm
Gallery Hours: Tue-Sat 11am-6pm

Onishi Gallery is honored to present, Carving White Translucence: Peter Hamann, a solo exhibition of leading ceramic artist Peter Hamann. Born in Nebraska in 1956, Hamann moved to Japan as a young adult to study Yabunouchi-style tea ceremony. His passion for Japanese culture led him to stay in Japan and pursue the ceramic arts, ultimately enabling him to teach Japanese ceremonial tea techniques and gain his Japanese citizenship. This exhibition showcases the stunning and innovative ceramic pieces that Hamann has refined over the decades, uniquely drawing upon his American roots and Japanese aesthetics.

On perfectly rounded spheres, delicate angular patterns are pressed into polished blue-white porcelain, visible to the eye and sensible to the touch but still unreal in their masterful execution. Hamann’s work falls into the category of kogei, functional ware that is celebrated for its beauty as much as for its utility. Because of his unusual position as an American ceramic master of this Japanese art form, Hamann has been able to expand the boundaries of kogei. He writes of his work that it, “reflects many things that Japanese people often say that no Japanese artists would ever think of or do, and yet at the same time, I am also a champion of the functional beauty of kogei, something I hope to always preserve in my pieces… The looseness of my work probably derives from my ‘American spirit,’ my willingness to improvise along with a strong desire to keep my porcelain pieces softer and more natural to make them interesting and active.”

The contrast of smooth circular forms with sharp geometric surface designs creates a tension that draws the eye around and across the form in continuous loops. Hamann intentionally creates this dynamic, noting that, “The shape itself and the carved pattern need to create motion, which is my prime objective, but the final piece must also have a degree of stability.” Hamann’s life experience itself, spanning continents and crossing cultural contexts, has also balanced motion and stability, setting the stage for his creative expression of this negotiation in clay. Integrating his native-born American sensibilities with his long-studied Japanese aesthetic awareness, Hamann creates simply perfected shapes that glimmer in blue-white glaze and porcelain possibility.

As former Director of the Milwaukee Museum of Art, Daniel T. Keegan, has said of Hamann’s work, “It is loaded with richness: a balance of form and subtlety; the careful melding of shape and surface treatment; stability yet weightlessness; clarity of color and a perfect fit of glaze to clay; a celadon blue as pure as morning light breaking thin through humid warm air in summer, pooling just right in creases and carvings resulting in translucence of form. But it is also a translucence of esthetic—sensual, rhythmic, precise, changing and poetic. Only a lifetime of study and the resulting mastery can bear these results.” Do not miss this opportunity to see such mastery made material.

For more information on the exhibition, please contact Nana Onishi at 212-695-8035, or by email at Or visit our website


Artist ( Description ): 

Peter Hamann was born in 1956 in Basset, Nebraska. He attended a workshop under Warren McKenzie and Jack Troy in Bethany College in Bethany, Kansas in the summer of 1977. In 1978, he graduated with a B.A. in Art from Graceland College, Lamoni, Iowa, where he has received the Certificate of Outstanding Achievement in Art. He took residency in Sasayama, Japan in 1982, where his passion for Japanese culture led him to study Yabunouchi-style tea ceremony under Master Chikuyuu Fukuda (Zuichikuan) from 1988 to present. Peter then received a Certificate of Graduation from the Tekisui Museum in Ashiya, Japan in 1988, which was a full-time, two year course in Ceramics. In addition to this course, he was a research student for three years. Later in 2010, Peter obtained his license to teach ceremonial tea techniques and in 2015, Peter gained Japanese citizenship, and took the Japanese name of ‘Sougen Itani.’ His artist memberships include; National Member of Japan Kōgei Association, Member of Japan Ceramic Art Association, Member of Shinsho Crafts Association, and Member of Kyoto Craft Art Creators Union.

Venue ( Address ):

Onishi Gallery , New York

Other events from Onishi Gallery

Susumu Notomi: Tales of Blue Pottery
11/15/2018 to 11/28/2018
Opening Reception | Yuji Obata: Sakura, Grace of Nature
11/13/2018 to 11/28/2018
Opening Reception | Shun Sudo: Innocent Forest
09/27/2018 to 10/20/2018
Opening Reception | Koshu Endo: Faces of the Moon
09/11/2018 to 09/22/2018



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