'Rather than seeing or speaking or hearing unnecessary things, one should instead be involved in creating. The hidden meaning of the pieces is that one can do what they want to, instead of only listening to what someone else is saying.'

Ryoji Koie might be considered one of Japan's most forward-thinking artists of his time. Born in 1938 in Tokoname, Koie studied ceramics from a young age. Still, his bright spirit and curiosity made him a bold and experimental artist while staying true to traditional Japanese ceramic forms. His gestural application of glazes on the surface and the giant x creates a dynamic and innovative approach inspired by postwar contemporary art by artists such as Jackson Pollock. Koie won multiple awards throughout his career, including the Japan Ceramic Society Award in 1992, the Chunichi Cultural Award in 2005, and the Gold Prize for the Japan Society Award in 2008. His works can be found in permanent collections worldwide, such as the Smithsonian Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Centre National de Georges Pompidou, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art.



  • 1938 Born in Tokoname, Aichi
  • 1957 Graduated from Tokoname High School, Ceramic Art Part
  • 1962 Entered Tokoname Ceramic Art Institute
  • 1963 Won award at Asahi Ceramic Art Exhibition
  • 1972 Won "honors" at the 3rd Vallauris International Ceramic Biennale
  • 1980 Became a member of the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC)
  • 1992 Became professor at Aich Prefectural Univ. of Fine Arts and Music
  • 1993 Won award of Japan Ceramic Society
  • 1994 Moved a kiln to Kamiyahagi-cho, Ena-gun, Gifu
  • 2002 Built 20-meter anagama in Amagasa, Okujo, Tokoname City
  • Creates his artwork at various places and holds many exhibitions (both individually and with groups).