Mr. Kanzaki's work came to my attention through a mutual friend, Peter Callas, an artist from New Jersey. I am grateful for this introduction because over the past few years have come to know Shiho and his work and lean through the bits of history and friendly confrontations something of the parts which make up this remarkable man. Kanzaki is a Buddhist Priest, a potter, a communicator. One can attach to him only the highest marks of achievement as he has been able to successfully blend spirituality into his work thus achieving a visible heightened awareness which is so rarely seen in modern societies. The complex world that Kanzaki embraces can be described as a blend of Buddhism and philosophy, the visual arts the fascination and respect for the wood fired kiln. His path is nurtured, I believe, by his contemplative, traditional life style.
He was invited by the ceramic department, headed by Karl Beamer, to be a resident artist of Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. Upon arrival Kanzaki set about building a large, anagama kiln on Professor Beamers site. Why one would undertake a project of such great responsibility is a question that can be answered only by the man with vision. The answer Mr. Kanzaki gives us is, "I choose for spiritual reasons"
I have always had a Zen attitude toward my life and art and have felt a strong kinship toward Japanese art and artists. My work has been influenced primarily by the Abstract Expressionist Movement while a traditional to modern lineage of Japanese art has been Mr. Kanzaki's primary influence but both journeys become one when dealing with the art of the fire. Our forms are different but our essential elements are alike. Shiho Kanzaki has found that rare equation of being able to transcend the physical in to a deeper and more meaningful one of Spirituality.
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