Vintage Japanese Sosaku Kokeshi entitled: “Mugen | Cloudland” by Kuribayashi, Issetsu
The beautifully and relatively rare lathe-turned doll is rendered brush strokes of abstract green clouds throughout the body which allow the viewer to appreciate the simplicity of his work. The Keyaki wood from which it is made helps to accentuate her beautifully proportioned head with a serine facial expression and understated hair and side hair fringes. In Japanese culture, clouds represent elegance and high status. In Buddhism, clouds signify the “Western Paradise” beyond earth; and in Shintoism, the spirits of the dead. This piece won the Prime Minister’s Award for excellence. The piece is signed attribution by the artist.
NOTE: For more information on this artist go to our Browse & Learn section, https://mingeiarts.com/collections/artisan-woodworker-kuribayashi-issetsu-1924-2011 affording you details about this artist, who began his career in 1955 for which this piece is featured in the Nuremberg Toy Museum in Germany. Also published in the latest book entitled: Sosaku Kokeshi: Celebrating the Major Artists of the Creative Movement.
Condition: Excellent condition for the piece is perfect, with no chipping, missing elements or loss of artwork/color which is beautifully defined. It retains a beautiful finish, with its original craftsmanship preserved. Museum-quality: meeting the standards of the collector of Kuribayashi kokeshi.
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Kuribayashi-san was born in Yonezawa city in 1924. In about 1955, he started producing Creative Kokeshi. From Yonezawa City, Kuribayashi-san is considered one of the founding fathers of the Sosaku-Creative movement. His dolls have won every major award given over the years and are featured in the Nuremberg Toy Museum in Germany along with fellow Sosaku artist Watanabe Masao in 1979. Many of his works were one-of-a-kind creations." Yuzuriu", "Mugen" and "Kareha" are all prize winners in the 1960s-70s. In 1970, his work "Mugen" was displayed as representative art of the Sosaku Kokeshi specialization and exhibited at the Government Pavillion of Japan International Exposition. He was the president of Yonezawa Miyuki Association, Member of Nippon Kokeshi Artistic Handicraft Association.
Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:
Most of his dolls are decorated with floral themes, such as stylized autumn themes, including Kiku, (Chrysanthemum), Daisies, and Ikat fabric designs. His dolls also utilize multiple types of wood, with natural colors, with hand-painting to define the face and clothing.
He enjoys long flowing unbound hair, (taregami), and incorporates traditional hairstyles both with and without hair ornaments, (Kanzashi). The eyes express humility, and his faces typically have a tiny red spot for the nose. Shape and balance are important elements of Japanese style and decoration. These carved and complementing shapes are thought to suggest intuition and inspiration. Additionally, a popular, Mother and Child theme is found in numerous works by various artists including Kuribayashi.