The series ‘Yo’ (Conception) comes from an investigation in artistic process.
Koichiro Isezaki, while making vessels, began to question the act of his own art making – “which decides the form? Inside or outside? I realized it is Both simultaneously” Through pushing the clay from inside, Isezaki watches as the slightest amount of pressure and turn of his hand can change the profile, demeanor, and atmosphere of his form; bellowing, curving, thinning, and shortening. With motions created from the inside, the form begins to shift, reflecting the soft manipulation of Isezaki’s hand. “Twisting the space from inside, I started to create this form.. I think this form shows [that] something living is moving inside or breathing deeply”.
Placed in a sagger and wrapped carefully in rice straw, each vessel in the ‘Yo’ series emerges from the kiln with their own individual Hidasuki (red flashing) pattern. The markings of a lively, energetic, fire. The pieces absorb the life of the fire through ash deposits, red flashing, subtle glaze, and sporadic, freckled, texture. Through the series, Isezaki creates a sense of breath.
The ‘Pulse‘ series is Koichiro Isezaki’s take towards a more expressionist, spirited artistic process.
Each piece marks a second in time – the moment that the extruded form hits a surface – that is the ‘Pulse’. The molding, transformative act of the raw, malleable, clay body hitting against a hard, patterned and textured, surface and collecting the information of that surface.
The series speaks to the artist’s interest in letting the clay perform. The process of creating Bizen ware itself is performative, spontaneous, and unpredictable; the action of hitting the form against a surface, changing its profile in a split second, is similar to that of the firing process. The flames, surrounding each piece as ash falls from the roof of the kiln, scattering and melting onto these pieces, transforms the overall aesthetic of the piece in a split second. Isezaki creates a different canvas for that performance. The manipulation of the clay, the memory of the clay body, and the unpredictability of time is reflected through this series.
‘Bizen Tea bowls’
Unique to Koichiro Isezaki’s visual language, his contemporary take on the Bizen tea bowl is organic, soft, almost structural. From the traditional red flashing Hidasuki lines to the Goma (sesame seed) texture, these pieces look warm and feel comfortable resting in the palm of your hands.
A closer look at a Bizen tea bowl (C19705)
A familiar form among Isezaki’s Bizen family, the tea bowl is characteristically slightly heart-shaped. The soft curvature of the form along with the smooth, seamless transition from the outside to inner lip, the piece seems to give a sense of life.
‘Faceted Tea bowls’
Expressionist, textural, and structural; Isezaki’s faceted team bowls are the epitome of contemporary design in ceramics.
The faceted tea bowl series are the opposite of gestural; the straight, decisive lines mark specific moments of decision and represent a keen eye. Each decisive cut of the clay body to remove material reveals another quality of the clay. From smooth, seemingly buttery consistency to a rough, groggy texture.
A closer look at a Faceted tea bowl (C20724)
This piece has direct, decisive cut lines angled by the artist to control the deposit of ash during the firing. Each side is a unique composition of color and finish. The interior of the piece displays a unique pooling of ash, creating a beautiful palette of crystalline glaze.
Although most of Isezaki’s pieces proudly display the natural texture of the clay body; the Ridge Jar series strays from that familiarity.
A closer look at a Ridge Jar (C20726)
The bellying of the form accompanied by very parallel and consistent lines, the piece is another example of Isezaki’s decisiveness towards and control of his material. The curved lines following all sides of the form allow for the delightful pooling of glaze along and inside the ridges.
Koichiro Isezaki’s ‘Drops’ series is the most abstract of all the forms in his collection. Organic yet sculptural, free yet contained, the series balances many dichotomies.
A closer look at C20733
This piece, with red flashing Hidasuki lines and a seemingly tilted profile, directs the eye in the form of an elegant curve. The Hidasuki lines create a beautifully expressionistic composition on the form and the graceful curve of the lip, pushed upwards to nearly fold into itself, keep the overall movement of the piece contained.