Born in Hiroshima in 1981, Japanese artist Takuro Kuwata has gained a reputation as a ‘radical potter’, combining traditional ceramic techniques with experimental processes.
Mixing stones with clay, Kuwata produces works that literally explode when fired, puncturing the clay’s surface to allow glaze to pool and hang in heavy drops. According to Christie’s specialist Amelia Manderscheid, it is an approach that ‘results in a beautifully spontaneous surface’ — a quality that has become ‘a trademark’ of the artist’s work.
Takuro Kuwata, Bowl, 2014. Porcelain, 3.94 x 6.1 x 5.71 in. (10 x 15.5 x 14.5 cm.) Courtesy of Salon 94.
Punctured, cracked or contorted, the artist’s objects nevertheless remain functional. As Manderscheid explains, ‘Kuwata’s ceramic work stems from the Japanese tea service tradition. His work becomes contemporary, however, through a desire to push the limits of the medium, and a belief in the power of colour.’
Thick glazes result in objects saturated with colour, often overlaid with metallic silver and gold. Commenting on his practice, Kuwata states an ambition to ‘create joyful and fun works, by making the most use of the characteristics of the materials.’
Clockwise: Takuro Kuwata, Ball, 2014. Porcelain, 7.09 x 6.89 x 6.69 in. (18 x 17.5 x 17 cm.); Takuro Kuwata, Platinum decorated Kairagi Shino bowl, 2012. Porcelain. 15.35 x 13.39 x 12.2 in. (39 x 34 x 31 cm.); Takuro Kuwata, Bowl, 2014. Porcelain, stone, 4.72 x 17.72 x 17.72 inches (12 x 45 x 45 cm); Takuro Kuwata, Sky-slipped gold drop Ishihaze ball, 2012. Porcelain, stone. 14.57 x 9.65 x 9.84 in. (37 x 24.5 x 25 cm.) Courtesy of Salon 94.
Kuwata’s works were first exhibited outside of Japan in 2011, as part of group exhibition
Paul Clay, held at New York’s Salon 94 Bowery. A string of group shows in the US followed and, in January 2013, Kuwata returned to Salon 94 to present his first solo show. His work was most recently shown at New York’s Ippodo Gallery, as part of the group exhibition Wind: An Exhibition of Tea Utensils by Contemporary Artists.
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