Mokichi Otsuka (1956) completed his studies in painting and then moved (1994 -1999) to Faenza Italy, deepening his course of study by graduating in Ceramic Art at the National Institute of Art and Ceramics G.Ballardini of Faenza. He creates a range of artworks with diligent and passionate work, from cat sculptures to tea bowls.
As they bridge the worlds of Greco-Roman and Japanese art, Otsuka’s terracotta wares are unique. Even as the concepts endure, the artist deviates from prehistoric Japanese ceramic aesthetics and their contemporary experimentational counterparts.
Under the tutelage of Italian sculptor Aldo Rontini in Faenza, Italy, Otsuka was encouraged to harness the power of ancient traditions through ceramic tiles. As such, Otsuka’s unique fusion of cultural influences has been exhibited namely in the regions where he has drawn inspiration: his home country of Japan, and his beloved Italy.
His works are preserved in multiple public collections: from the Victoria and Albert Museum (UK) to the MIC, the International Ceramics Museum of Faenza, from the Tito Balestra Foundation, the Italian Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, located on the premises of the Malatesta Castle in Longiano at The National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. And moreover at The Museum of Ceramic Art (Hyogo), at the Takasaki Art Center College, at the Takamatsu City Museum of Art and many others.
About the Artist
1956 Born in Tokyo, Japan
1979 Graduated from the Department of Japanese Painting, Tokyo
University of Art, Japan
1981 Completed postgraduate studies of Japanese Painting, Tokyo
University of Art, Japan
1996 Graduated from National Institute of Art and Ceramics,
G.Ballardini, Faenza Italy
1994 Solo Exhibition, Gallery Awaji-Cho (Tokyo)
1997 Solo Exhibition, Loggetta del 39 (Faenza, Italy) Exhibition,
Ceramic Virtuality of Variable and Variant Pots, Palazzo Cisi
1998 50th Ceramics Biennale, International Museum of Ceramics
4th Ceramics Biennale (Cairo, Egypt)
38th Castellamonte Ceramics Art and Industry Exhibition,
Palazzo Comunale (Turin, Italy)
1999 Solo Exhibition, Studio Cavalieri (Bologna, Italy) Exhibition,
Terracotta from Italy -Aldo Rontini and Otsuka Mokichi, Sogetsu
Art Museum (Tokyo)
2000 Solo Exhibition, Tobi Art Fair, Tokyo Art Club (Tokyo)
2002 Solo Exhibition, Terracotta of Otsuka Mokichi, Art Salon
2003 Solo Exhibition, Terracotta of Otsuka Mokichi, Art Gallery
Solo Exhibition, Tobi Art Fair, Tokyo Art Club (Tokyo)
2004 4th The 21st Century Exhibition of Japanese Art, Tokyo Art Club
(Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kanazawa), annually
exhibited to 2015 Exhibition, Creatures: Modern Crafts and
Design from the Museum Collection, The National Museum of
Modern Art Tokyo (Tokyo)
2005 Solo Exhibition, Terracotta of Otsuka Mokichi, Signature Gallery
2006 Exhibition, inner smile, Loggetta del 39 (Faenza, Italy)
Exhibition, Human From in Clay-the Minds Eyes, The Museum
of Contemporary Art, The Shigaraki Ceramics Cultural Park
(Shiga), The Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo (Hyogo), Shizuoka
Art Gallery (Shizuoka) Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park (Shiga) /
Musée Tomo (Tokyo)
2007 Solo Exhibition, Salon Fontanone (Faenza, Italy)
2008 Solo Exhibition, inner smile, Foundation Tito Balestra Museum of
modern-contemporary Art (Longiano, Italy)
2009 Solo Exhibition, inner smile, niArt Gallery (Ravenna, Italy)
2010 Solo Exhibition, inner smile, Signature Gallery Mitsukoshi (Tokyo)
2011 Solo Exhibition, inner smile, The International Museum of
Ceramics (Faenza, Italy)
2012 Solo Exhibition, Goddess and Cat, Gallery Burari (Yamanashi)
Solo Exhibition, inner smile, Palazzo Esposizioni (Faenza, Italy)
2013 Solo Exhibition, Gallery Yoshii (Paris, France) Exhibition, The
form of clay, Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art (Tochigi)
2014 Solo Exhibition, inner smile, Signature Gallery (Mitsukoshi,
2015 Solo Exhibition, Otsuka Mokichi ‘Encounter’ 2015 Manyoudou
2016 Solo Exhibition, Vibrant of Silence, niArt Gallery (Ravenna, Italy)
Exhibition, Find novel dreams, and raise those to be real, Tokyo
Art Club (Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka and Kanazawa)
2017 Art fair, Collective Design 2017 in New York (Ippodo Gallery)
Magic of the Tea BowlVolume 2 2 Jun - 7 Jul 2022Magic of the Tea Bowl (Vol.2) April 2022 The Japanese tea ceremony was first established during the 16th century and has continued to flourish to the present day. Closely related...
Between FormsThe Terracotta Cosmos by Mokichi Otsuka 6 - 28 Jun 2018Endless Bonds Shoko Aono One day in late summer, I visited Mokichi Ōtsuka at his home in Yamanashi Prefecture. The evening cicadas called as a gentle breeze blew through the...
Tea Bowls: Art of Five SensesContemporary Japanese Tea Ceremony Wares 15 Mar - 7 Apr 2018Expressing Gratitude for Ippodo Gallery’s First 10 Years Shoko Aono “It (Teaism) insulates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially...
Stoneware and ColorantsOn Iron Oxide November 10, 2020Shiro Tsujimura, Red Tea Bowl C17602 Red iron oxide is a very common colorant that is found in ceramics. Iron oxide glazes are usually very difficult (and messy) to work with due to their fluidity and difficulty to control. Mokichi Otsuka, Tea Bowl C20120 During firing, all irons normally decompose and produce similar colors in the glazes and clay body. These colors all depend on the percentage of iron oxide that is present in the clay body, the more iron oxide in the glaze, the darker the color it will...