The Oriental Connection

posted in: Exhibitions | 2

The final online exhibition of 2020 considers oriental aspects of studio ceramics collecting. The work covers the last 50 years and explores how ancient oriental processes continue to be used to this day.

The exhibition begins in mid-November and will proceed in the same manner as recent exhibitions. That is, 10 pots will be added to the “Recent Acquisitions” section from 11 GMT on four consecutive Mondays. Below are details of some of the work included.

Monday 16th November – Poh Chap Yeap

Poh Chap Yeap (1927 – 2007) was born in Malaysia to a third generation Chinese family and his initial contact with ceramics began during a trip to Denmark, following a move to London. Despite never visiting China, he became fascinated by the country’s ceramic history during his period, as a research student, at the Royal College of Art. This lead to him devote his short ceramic career to reinterpreting Chinese ceramics from centuries past. He was regarded in the same league as Rie, Leach & Coper during the 1970s, but since then he has largely been forgotten. It is only through the Harlequin Gallery having access to much of his output that his work has come onto the market over the last 20 years and this selection is almost the final pots from that source.
Further information about Yeap and his career can be found at:

Monday 23rd November – Japanese Ceramics

The Harlequin Gallery began exhibiting Japanese ceramics in 2005, long before other major galleries in the UK, and has continued to do so ever since. The current work available can be found at but below are some of the new work available from 23rd November.

Monday 30th November – Teabowls and Yunomis

When I took over the Harlequin Gallery in 1999, teabowls and yunomis were rarely made by most potters in the UK. However just a few years later this oriental vessel became all the rage. Work produced by UK based potters will be added to the exhibition at the end of November, including those below:

Monday 7th December – Wood-fired Pottery

Wood-fired ceramics have become a fascination of mine over the years that I have collected studio pottery. In fact, the third pot that I ever bought was a Svend Bayer jar. I also remember becoming interested in the work of Patrick Sargent and then Nic Collins, as the 1990s progressed. This was long before I was aware of the Oriental connection to this work and began staging exhibitions of Japanese pottery. The early oriental Harlequin Gallery exhibitions focussed on the wood-fired work from two of the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan, namely Bizen and Shigaraki. However, it later widened to include the work of other UK based wood-firers. Some of which, will be included in the final selection of this exhibition.

2 Responses

  1. EddieYeoh

    Dear John,
    I am interested in the purchase of Poh Chap Yap’s shrimp decorated plate as digitally displayed!
    Will it be possible to make a reservation on the piece?
    Many Thanks!

    • W X

      Dear Eddie, I will contact you by e-mail to discuss with you further. Thank you for your interest. John