Congratulations, Koichiro Isezaki, for the Japanese Ceramic Society Award 2023! I met Koichiro last December at his exhibition in Tokyo where I saw personally his great work. A warm person and a great Bizen Artist.
Koichiro Isezaki is a contemporary Bizen potter who belongs to a family of renowned ceramic artists. His grandfather, Yozan Isezaki, and his father, Jun Isezaki, were both designated as Living National Treasures of Japan for their mastery of Bizen ware.
Bizen ware is one of the six ancient kilns of Japan, where pottery has been produced for over 1000 years in the Imbe area of Okayama Prefecture.
Bizen ware is characterized by its unglazed, natural finish that results from the interaction of clay, fire, and ash in the wood-fired kiln.
The clay used for Bizen ware is rich in iron and has a high plasticity, which allows the potter to create various shapes and textures.
The firing process is long and complex, requiring careful control of the temperature, oxygen, and firewood.
The final appearance of the pottery depends on many factors, such as the position of the pieces in the kiln, the type and amount of firewood, and the weather conditions during firing.
Bizen ware is known for its subtle and diverse colors and patterns that emerge from the clay itself.
Koichiro Isezaki studied under his father and also spent some time in New York as an apprentice of Jeff Shapiro, another ceramic artist who was influenced by Bizen ware.
Koichiro Isezaki has developed his own style that combines tradition and innovation.
He creates vessels, tea bowls, and sculptures that express his artistic vision and philosophy.
He uses various techniques to manipulate the clay, such as extruding, carving, folding, and twisting.
He also experiments with different types of clay and firing methods to produce new effects and expressions.
Some of his works have a smooth and glossy surface, while others have a rough and organic texture.
Some of his works have a simple and elegant shape, while others have a dynamic and abstract form.
He calls his sculptures “Yō” [Conception], which means the essence or idea of something.
Crafts Gallery, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Paramita Museum Ceramic Art Grand Prize Exhibition
Encouragement Award, Okayama Prefecture Development of Emerging Artists Program
City Hall of Faenza, Italy
Mitsukoshi Department Store Art Gallery
Japan Ceramic Society Award (2022)
It was my pleasure and honor meeting you Koichiro! Thank you for creating an amazing clay art in Bizen!
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