Earth from Sky : Stoneware Works by Mitsukuni Misaki


“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


Mon. – Fri. : 11 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


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

We are looking for SUMMER INTERNSHIPS!

We are looking for an intern!

Candidate must be able to start during July, and a minimum commitment of 3 months is required.

Must be outgoing and eager to learn, able to complete given task with passion and responsibility, able to assist the director and another staff member.

Excellent opportunity to gain experience working in a gallery, and obtaining an insight on the art business.


Qualifications include:

1) Majoring in art business or interested in Japanese art

2) Business hours are 9:30am-6pm, Monday-Friday. Intern must be able to work minimum of 4 hours a day for 2 or 3 days a week. (schedule can be discussed)

3) Unpaid internship position

4) Native-level English communication skills a must. Japanese reading, writing, and conversing skills preferred.


Description of work content includes:

1) Computer designing (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator proficiency preferred)

2) Email / Phone correspondence

3) Packing, shipping, unpacking artworks

4) Preparation of other documents (Word, Excel proficiency a must)

5) Assisting with opening reception of exhibitions

6) Researching art-related medias and galleries

7) Assisting with other gallery staff member


Please email a short introduction with resume attached to

We will contact those we are interested in conducting an interview with.

“Bamboo Exposed” is extended until July 7 due to the enthusiastic reception!


“Bamboo Exposed: Mastery in Modernity of Hafu Matsumoto – Exploring the lineage of Take-Kôgei bamboo from Rokansai and Shokansai Iizuka” is extended until July 7* due to the enthusiastic reception!

Matsumoto’s Bamboo baskets catch light and create dramatic shadows. Flower arrangements make bamboo baskets come alive.
Do not miss this beautiful show!

*Gallery will be closed from July 1st – 4th.

Thank you for joining our Gallery Talk: Hafu Matsumoto with Mari Iizuka “Regarding the Iizuka family; and what is the Life of Bamboo?” !

The Gallery Talk at Ippodo Gallery on June 13, 2017

The bamboo artist, Hafu Matsumoto and Mari Iizuka ( only daughter of Shokansai, granddaughter of Rokansai Iizuka ) talked about bamboo weaving, the tradition and process.
The anecdotes about Shokansai Iizuka and Rokansai Iizuka were fascinating and they brought us insightful perceptions and visions to the art of bamboo weaving!