Director Shoko Aono Speaks in Kogei Discussion

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Director Shoko Aono spoke about the future of Kogei and reported our experience in New York as a Japanese art gallery.

We had a meaningful discussion regarding Kogei and traditional craft.
The discussion was with Ronald T. Labaco, Joe Earle, Shoko Aono, and Masanori Aoyagi.

Read more about it here (Japanese)

The Essence of Imperfection : Wabi Sabi at Ippodo Gallery

The Essence of Imperfection : Wabi Sabi at Ippodo Gallery

October 26, 2017 – November 22, 2017

Mon. – Fri. : 11 a.m.to 6 p.m. | Saturdays by appointment

Special Reception with exhibiting artists :
November 8, 6 – 8 p.m.

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Ippodo Gallery is pleased to present a selection of works by nine artists, in conjunction with the exhibition, A Teahouse for Philadelphia, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). Ippodo artists, Jihei Murase, Tohru Matsuzaki, Suikei Saito, and Kenji Wakasugi, will be on view through July 30, 2018, so Ippodo welcomes the chance to run these artists in a concurrent showcase at our New York gallery, with additional works on view by five artists — Keiji Ito, Akito Nizato, Shiro Tsujimura, Koji Hatakeyama, and Kyokko Kaida.

The exhibition centers around Wabi Sabi, a cultural tradition rooted in the beauty of imperfection and impermanence. Authenticity in this careful carelessness knows no translation, but is a celebration of all things natural and unadorned. It is a meditative aesthetic, and one greatly esteemed in Japanese culture.

Each artist has an individual ability to express this Wabi Sabi ideal:

Jihei Murase (b. 1957) creates harmonious lacquerware from 100-year-old timber and straight virgin trees, dried and prized for delicate, thin grooves to emphasize forms created by nature. Lacquerware by Tohru Matsuzaki (b. 1944) also uses precious zelkova wood, but the artist applies his hand to chiseling the grooves of the rich vermillion red, black and silver. Ceramics by Keiji Ito (b. 1935) are minimalistic, world renowned Shijo Tsujimura (b. 1947) ‘s rare pieces from his time in Devon (UK in 1993) are whimsical, and by younger Akio Niisato (b. 1977), having previously taught a Harvard ceramics from 2009-2012, all continue to evolve from a place of passion and creativity, and have been shown all over the world.
Kyokko Kaida (b.1946)’s bamboo tea scoops are poetic, while the weathered surfaces of Koji Hatakeyama (b.1956) ’s bronze boxes convey the material’s individual history.
The juxtaposition of forms, past and present ideals, and a delicacy of craft continue through more innovative techniques. This can be seen in the works by calligrapher, Suikei Saito (b. 1945), who explores stillness, nothingness, and emptiness. As a photographer, Kenji Wakasugi (b. 1941) digitally manipulates images on landscapes, striking a balance between tradition and modernity. Wakasugi uses Sumi ink, pigments, and gold and silver leaf on scanned photographs, with his most recent mixed media work an homage to the tea masters, Sen Rikyu and Oribe Huruta.

Ultimately this continues Ippodo’s efforts to sync with the natural world in an ongoing appreciation of the beauty of both artwork and the earth itself. This emphasis on technique and materials culled from the earth syncs with the ideals of Wabi Sabi, in that there is a play between tradition and modernity, while embracing the curvatures found organically. Through changing technologies and mixed media, each artist maintains these ideals of discovery and reverence, making for a worthy group show of proven museum-quality works.

For more information and to view an online catalogue, please visit our Exhibition page, or see our official press release.

Director Shoko Aono will be speaking at the ‘Globalization and Kogei’ symposium on October 21 !

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Director Shoko Aono will be speaking at the’ Globalization and Kogei ‘ symposium
as a representative of a Japanese art gallery based in Japan and the United States !

Museums and galleries are attracting attention as places from which to promote new Kogei values.
Museum curators and gallerists will deepen understanding of the evaluation of aesthetic values and the originality of artists, as well as the significance of curation and direction in this new Kogei.

Location :
Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art
( 2-1 Dewa-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0963 JAPAN )

Date & Time :
October 21st, 2017 2 – 4 p.m.

Other Panelists :
Joe Earle

Senior Consultant, Japanese Works of Art, Bonhams
Former Director, Japan Society Gallery, New York
Former Chair, Department of Asian Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Ronald T. Labaco

Independent Curator
Former Senior Curator, Museum of Arts and Designs, New York

Moderator :
Yuji Akimoto

Director/Professor,
The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts
Chief Executive Director,
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Fee :
2000 yen

Capacity :
200 people

Enquiries :
The Creation of Japan General Incorporated Association
Tel : +81.3.3573.3339
Email : info@thecreationofjapan.or.jp

Please click here or visit event website for more details!

Modern tea suitcase for globetrotters ‘ZEN-An’ made its first overseas debut to the public!

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‘ZEN-An’, a modern tea suitcase for globetrotters, produced by architect and expert on the Japanese tea ceremony, Kuniji Tsubaki, made its first overseas debut to the public!
The piece is now exhibited at the Charles B. Wang Center at Stony Brook University, as part of their current exhibition, “The Way of Tea in Asia”.
This new concept is garnering lots of attention among New Yorkers!

Please click to watch a special Video of “Modern Tea Suitcase for Globetrotters

Ippodo Gallery is supplementing the installation of their exhibition with Shigeru Uchida’s tearoom ‘Ji’An’ and many other tea utensils.

We are planning some exciting and fun events related to the Japanese tea ceremony for this fall season.
Do not miss our further announcements!

Earth from Sky : Stoneware Works by Mitsukuni Misaki

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“Times continue to change
But only when the rhythm and pace of my body adapt
I am drawn by the look and touch of a maturing artwork
Slow against time’s movement
Is it light or air that moves me?
I create to keep feeling the connection
With the sense of familiar emanating
That I cannot quite describe”

- Mitsukuni Misaki

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Mon. – Fri. : 11 a.m.to 6 p.m. | Saturdays by appointment

Ippodo Gallery is pleased to present the first solo showcase of ceramic artist Mitsukuni Misaki (b.1951) outside Japan. The poetry of form is paired with the artist’s urge to create powerful, lifelike works, encapsulating the dual strength and subtlety of beauty in nature. 20 works on view project this unnameable sensation, with asymmetrical works conveying the desire for serenity.

The essence Misaki aims to express comes from a restlessness in his soul. Curiosity is pervasive throughout his work, and endures as a part of the artist’s nomadic experience. From his earliest years of travel in the 1970s, Misaki eschewed what may have amounted to a successful career in law during a period of revolt in academia. Instead, inspired by world-famous potter and scholar Fujio Koyama (1900–1975), Misaki decided to devote himself to an artistic career. He thus traveled to many studios, drawing inspiration from the sky, the ocean, and the boundlessness he continues to seek today.
As he wrote in one of his letters, the quest for meaning is very significant. “Wandering allowed me to indulge myself in the pain and sweetness of walking in the wind and rain,” he writes, rhythmic and pensive.
The works are referred to as Saiyuudeiki, noted by the Japan Ceramic Society Director Koichi Mori for a well-balanced, ample form. Saiyuudeiki loosely translates to ‘colored stoneware vessels,’’ with Sai 彩 as color, Yuu 釉 as glaze, Dei 泥 as clay and Ki 器 as vessel. The style stands in marked contrast to Bian-hu, a sleeker, flatter part of his cannon.

Deliberate and powerful expression is evidenced in the blue and black horizons of the stoneware, separating earth from sky. The imperfect lines are intentional, derived from sprouting seeds, or the fertile womb of a woman.
In pursuit of form and color, discriminating attention to detail takes shape with what Misaki calls Rothko-ing. Undoubtedly, the divisive aesthetic of blue versus grey bears reference to Mark Rothko’s iconic abstract expressionist works, not only with the two-tone structure, but also with the richness and gradations of the blue. Yet the artist also finds solace in the meditation of Rothko-ing, stripping down to an inactivity that frees his sense of expression. In the detachment from material meaning, spontaneity is revealed.
Misaki hand-crafts the shapes, embracing the tension of touch instead of the more common wheel. He makes large works, with one work as large as 24 x 16 in (61.5 x 41.2 cm) challenges conceptions of space with largess.

The dichotomy of the colors is also crucial, evoking the sense of tension in the quest for bliss. The blue is rubbed and refired using four layers of slip, infusing the pale blue glaze with a middle layer of white for depth, then coated with earthen tones to give the color an appearance of age.

Despite Misaki’s many accomplishments, he remains reclusive on his creative quest. He has exhibited extensively in Japan and received numerous awards, ranging from the Japan Kogei Association Prize in 1989 to the 1993 Grand Prix/Chichibunomiya Trophy at the 12th Japan Ceramic Art Exhibition, all the way to the Grand Prix at the Kikuchi Biennale in 2013. Yet he is atypical of the outward-facing artist, instead seeking solace in his meditative moments alone, apart from time and society. While this creative process has been the result of much fanfare in Japan, time will tell how it manifests in New York.

For more information and to view an online catalogue, please visit our Exhibition page, or see our official press release.

Summer Greetings from Ippodo Gallery New York!

We Ippodo Gallery New York look forward to welcoming you this summer with a fittingly summery selection of work.
Inquiries regarding our artists and pieces are accepted anytime.

Best wishes for a splendid summer!

Ippodo Gallery New York

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We open by appointment during July and August.
Please reach us at 212-967-4899 or mail@ippodogallery.com prior to your visit.