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October 5, 2011

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 Harn Museum of Art Presents an Exhibition of Works by Pioneering Women Ceramicists from Japan

The Samuel P. Harn Memorial Exhibition Offers Programming for All Ages

GAINESVILLE, Fla.— The Harn Museum of Art is pleased to announce Soaring Voices: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists featuring 87 works by 25 exceptional female artists who reflect Japan’s rich and innovative ceramic culture. Soaring Voices is on view from Oct. 16 through Dec. 31.

For thousands of years, women have been highly active in the production of ceramics. However, their names are seldom spoken of. Soaring Voices, featuring 20th and 21st century works, demonstrates the cultural shift in Japanese society toward individualism, where women artists are becoming recognized in an artistic realm traditionally held by men.

The exhibition provides contemporary interpretations of a traditional art form through the work of women artists using a range of methods, materials and motifs, many inspired from the natural world. Other sources of inspiration pay tribute to Japan, such as Noh theater dance movements (a form of classic Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century) and kimono patterns of the Edo period (1603 to 1868). Commentary on themes, such as beauty defined and an exploration of East and West, are threaded throughout the works.

Soaring Voices features pioneering ceramicists spanning generations. Members of the founding generation of Japanese female potters, such as Asuka Tsuboi, Kiyoko Koyama and Takako Araki, create colorful works that are innovative in both form and concept.Other artists, including Eiko Kishi and Fuku Fukumoto, incorporate ancient literature and Noh traditions to create a context within their work of a deep connection with nature, a significant motif in the work of Japanese artists.

“The Soaring Voices exhibition demonstrates the Harn Museum’s commitment to the arts of Asia, particularly Japan with this display,” said Jason Steuber, Cofrin Curator of Asian Art at the Harn Museum. “These contemporary masterpieces not only reveal the artists’ sensibilities with clay but also the long tradition of ceramics in Japan.”

Hiroko Miura, curator at the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park and lecturer at Kyoto Seika University, is the curator for this exhibition. Miura has developed numerous contemporary ceramics exhibitions during her ten years at the museum.

Co-curator Maya Nishi and president of hus-10, Inc. has curated a number of major exhibitions including major retrospectives on Luci Rie and Hans Coper, among others. Her research and work on Japanese ceramicists has led to numerous publications, lectures and workshops throughout Japan and the U.S.

A fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition with essays by ceramics curators Hiroko Mirua and Louise Allison Cort, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. The catalogue is published by Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park.

The exhibition traveled to the New Otani Art Museum, Tokyo, and Shizuoka Art Gallery, Shizuoka, Japan, in 2008 and the Museé National de Céramique in Sevres, France, in 2009 before embarking on its North American tour.

Soaring Voices was developed by The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Shiga Prefecture, and hus-10, Inc., Tokyo, Japan and tour organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C. The exhibition was generously supported in part by the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and the S&R Foundation and is made possible locally by the AEC Trust.

Images of work of art from the exhibition are located at


The museum is offering a number of related programs for audiences of all ages.

Harn Member pARTy
Saturday, Oct., 15, 6 - 8:30 p.m.
Harn Museum of Art members will be the first to view the exhibition. Become a member and enjoy a pARTy celebrating the opening on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. There will be an opportunity to join at the door. Visit the membership section of the Harn’s website for a list of additional benefits and information about how to join.

Soaring Voices: Perspectives on Collecting Contemporary Japanese Ceramics.
Sunday, Oct. 16, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Noted collectors Jeffrey and Carol Horvitz along with renowned art dealer Joan Mirviss will offer keen insights about their passion for contemporary Japanese ceramics, especially those by artists represented in the Soaring Voices exhibition.

Gallery Talk: Kimiyo Mishima
Sunday, Oct. 16, 3 p.m.
Since 1971, Kimiyo Mishima has been creating ceramic works which take the form of everyday perishable items, such as newspapers and cardboard boxes. Often combining clay with silk-screening techniques, these beautifully crafted yet “ordinary” items explore our relationship with printed information and the culture of consumption and waste. In addition to the inclusion of several of her pieces in Soaring Voices, the Harn Museum of Art is also proud to display Mishima’s work from the permanent collection in Open Engagement: Strategies in Art, Love and War.

Museum Nights: Soaring Voices of the University of Florida
Thursday, Nov. 10, 6 – 9 p.m.
UF Women’s Chorale, Asian American Student Union, H.O.T. Clay, UF Study Abroad, the UF Honors Program and others contribute to celebrate an evening of art-making and demonstrations, performances, Japanese language lessons and refreshments. Museum Nights is an ongoing program made possible by the generous support of the University of Florida Office of the Provost, Student Government and Honors Program. This evening is also supported by the UF Asian American Student Union and UF International Center.

Family Day: Explore Contemporary Asian Ceramics
Saturday, Nov. 19, 1 – 4 p.m.
At this Family Day, visitors of all ages will delight in seeing the Harn’s newest exhibition, Soaring Voices: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists. After being inspired on a family-friendly tour in the galleries, visitors can create ceramic vessels together in the classrooms. Donations are welcome to cover the costs if you would like to have your creation fired in a kiln for permanence.

Gallery Talk: Jason Steuber
Sunday, Nov. 20, 3 p.m.
Join in on an artful discussion with Jason Steuber, Cofrin Curator of Asian Art, about selected works in Soaring Voices.

About the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
Founded in 1990, the Harn Museum of Art is an integral part of the University of Florida. The Harn contributes to an interconnected, international community by integrating the arts and culture into curricula throughout the university’s system of colleges and centers. Its holdings include more than 8,300 works in five main collecting areas: Asian art, African art, photography, modern art of the Americas and Europe, and international contemporary art. In addition to rotating installations drawn from its permanent collection, the Harn organizes traveling exhibitions, public lectures, panel discussions, academic symposia and educational programs for adults, students and children. On March 31, 2012, the Harn will open the 26,000-square-foot David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing, which will feature three levels, including new galleries, storage and conservation spaces, as well as outdoor gardens.

The Harn Museum, at Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road in Gainesville, Fla., is part of the University of Florida’s Cultural Plaza, which is also home to the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is open until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of every month for Museum Nights. The Camellia Court Café is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 352-392-9826 or visit

The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Shigaraki-Chokushi Koka City, Japan, supports ceramics through artistic development, exhibitions designed to promote local industry, and cultural development through worldwide exchanges. Visit

hus-10, Inc.,
introduces ceramic art throughout Japan and internationally through art publications, curatorial services, and international exhibitions. hus-10 aspires to be a place for exchange of knowledge and technology on ceramic art and culture.  Visit

International Arts & Artists
is a non-profit arts service organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally, through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, arts institutions and the public. Visit


Media contacts :
Tami Wroath
Harn Museum of Art
(352) 392-9826 x2116

International Arts & Artists:
Margalit Monroe

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