Studio Visit: Kohei Nakamura

Magic of the Tea Bowl Volume III
July 6, 2023
Studio Visit: Kohei Nakamura

Kohei Nakamura contemplates contemporary ideas from the mimesis of the timeless forms of Raku, Ido, and Kohiki


Kohei NakamuraKase Glaze Black Tea Bowl - カセ釉黒楽茶碗, (C23566)


Kohei NakamuraKase Glaze Black Tea Bowl - カセ釉黒楽茶碗, (C23566)


Question 1

Do you practice tea in daily life? Please share your chanoyu routine, or a beloved memory of chanoyu.



As the third generation of a tea bowl potter family, I have long been practicing the tea ceremony. In addition, my family has a tea room on our property.
I respect tea bowls as "vessels of thought" infused with Zen philosophy. In my perspective, chawan artists should bear in mind the ideology of tea bowls and zen principles.


Kohei Nakamura, Ido Tea Bowl - 井戸茶碗 (筒井筒写), (C24300)


Underside, Kohei NakamuraIdo Tea Bowl - 井戸茶碗 (筒井筒写), (C24300)



Please describe the influences that inspire your work.



 Classic tea bowls often inspire me, and I am always completing how to convey their timeless allure to the contemporary world.


Kohei Nakamura, Ido Tea Bowl - 井戸茶碗, (C24298)


Back view, Kohei NakamuraIdo Tea Bowl - 井戸茶碗, (C24298)



Please describe the qualities do you most treasure in a tea bowl—be that shape, color, texture, or history, style, and type of clay? 



Unlike many potters who concentrate on materials and techniques, I prioritize understanding the philosophy embodied in the tea bowls cherished by tea masters.


Kohei NakamuraIdo Tea Bowl - 井戸茶碗 (喜左衛門写), (C24299)



Please share with us how you prepare to make a new piece; how do you decide on the materials and direction for the idea?



Once I have developed the image of a chawan that aligns with my vision, I carefully gather the appropriate materials. Following that, I create a wide range of test pieces and select the finest materials among them.


Kohei NakamuraCalligraphy "Ensō" - 書「円相」(A24954)

Magic of the Tea Bowl (vol. III), showing at Ippodo Gallery New York, has proven to be one of the most popular and anticipated exhibitions of the year. The demand and excitement has lead us to extended the show through the end of July—don't miss your opportunity to experience the power of Kohei Nakamura's chawan


About the author

Keiko Taniguchi

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