Exhibitions and Events

The oeuvre of ceramic artist Hiromi Itabashi is truly wide-ranging, both in form and technique. However, most of his varied works can be traced back to two elements: white porcelain and chamotte. The two constitute the pillar of Itabashi's art, and have driven much of his creative work to date.

After graduating from the Department of Law at Nihon University, Itabashi spent about three years as a chief specializing in Japanese cuisine. Viewing the work of ceramic artist Keiji Ito at a Harajuku gallery inspired Itabashi to enroll at Tajimi City Pottery Design and Technical Center, where Ito had been teaching. There, he studied the basics of ceramics and design for two years. He served as apprentice under Ito for a further two years, commuting to his master's studio every day. In 1980, Itabashi returned to his hometown of Mitaka City, where he produced work as a ceramic artist. Over time, however, Itabashi began to have doubts about the fact that he was based in Mitaka while producing ceramics he had studied in Tajimi. Just as he had started to question his location and the nature of ceramics, he discovered the work of ceramicist Ryoji Koie, which taught him that ceramics are what remain after firing. The experience contributed to Itabashi's idea that ceramics are not simply clay hardened by firing, but something made appealing by the creative processes and methods. "Adopting new techniques always leads to new creations. Excellent works made in the past already exist, so, rather than aiming to replicate them, I thought I wanted to surpass them by creating completely new works that adopted a different perspective." Thus began Itabashi's challenges.

In 1977, Itabashi received the Asahi Ceramic Art Award at the Asahi Ceramic Art Exhibition for his unglazed white porcelain sculpture molded in plaster casts of balloons. He subsequently continued creating delicate-textured white porcelain sculptures with gently curving forms, which later evolved into white porcelain works representing water. The present exhibition includes a spherical work KAI and two ellipsoidal works that suggest the presence of air inside.

Since the mid-1990s, Itabashi has focused attention on chamotte, a material made by firing and pulverizing clay. He succeeded in forming shapes by firing chamotte particles within a framework of glaze. The technique, which Itabashi refers to as chuku (lit. midair), is capable of producing distinctive shapes previously unknown in the realm of ceramics. The subtitle of this exhibition, "Weightlessness within Gravity" expresses this technique. The exhibition also includes a work JYAKU composed of twenty pieces, fired after placing a copper sheet on a rectangular slab of clay (chamotte). Though perhaps lacking the immediate visual appeal of his white porcelain pieces, this chamotte work deserves critical attention as an attempt to question the very source of existence.

"Anything with a dent in its surface is a vessel. Adopting this idea took weight off my mind," says Itabashi. To the artist, it has meant freeing his mind from preconceptions, and expressing the invisible essence of ceramics.

MORI Koichi, Art Critic, Executive Director, Japan Ceramic Society


  • November, 2018
  • November, 2018
  • November, 2018
    photo:Hidekazu Oginuma
  • November, 2018
    photo:Hidekazu Oginuma
Date 5 November, 2018 - 15 January, 2019
Open Hours 10:00 - 18:00
Closed Wednesdays, 25 November, 28 December, 2018 - 4 January, 2019
Admission Free
Planned and organized by LIXIL Corporation

Profile

ITABASHI Hiromi

1948 Born in Mitaka City, Tokyo
1971 Graduated from the Department of Law, Nihon University
1976 Won the Award for Excellence, Japan Ceramic Design Competition
1977 Graduated from Tajimi City Pottery Design and Technical Center
Won the Asahi Ceramic Art Award at the Asahi Ceramic Art Exhibition
1978 Studied under ceramic artist Keiji Ito
1979 Won the Encouragement Award at the Gifu Prefectural Ceramics Design Exhibition (Gifu)
1983 Won the Asahi Ceramic Art Award at the Asahi Ceramic Art Exhibition
1984 Won the Grand Prix at the Chunichi International Exhibition of Ceramic Art
1985 Won the Special Award at the Chunichi International Exhibition of Ceramic Art
1988 Group exhibition: Ceramic Annex Shigaraki ‘88 (Museum of Modern Art, Shiga / Shiga)
Invited to participate in the Asahi Modern Craft Exhibition
1989 Won the Silver Award in the design category at the International Ceramics Festival MINO, Japan (Tajimi, Gifu)
Group exhibition: Contemporary Japanese Craft Design Exhibition (Bellingham, U.S.)
1991 Won the Purchase Award at the 47th International Competition of Ceramic Art in Faenza (Italy)
1993 Group exhibition: UTSUWA (Museum of Modern Art, Saitama / Saitama)
1995 Invited to participate in the Kanazawa Crafts Competition (Kanazawa, Ishikawa)
1996 Established WINDS Hiromi Itabashi Ceramic Research Institute (Tokyo)
Group exhibition: The Expression and the Potential in Contemporary Ceramics (Aichi Prefectural Ceramic Museum / Aichi)
Group exhibition: Female Identity (Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art / Okayama)
1997 Won the 97 Grand Prix at the Izushi Porcelain Triennale Competition (Izushi, Hyogo)
Participated in the Seoul Ceramic Art Biennale (Seoul Museum of Art / South Korea)
2000 Featured in the TV program Yakimono Tanbo (lit. “Exploring Ceramics”) on NHK BS2
Invited to participate in a ceramic art exhibition of Keramiske Veje (Ceramic Path) (Denmark)
2001 Group exhibition: Leaders of Contemporary Japanese Ceramics: Exploring Techniques and Forms for the New Century (Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum)
Participated in the World Ceramic Exposition 2001 Korea (Seoul, South Korea)
2002 Group exhibition: The Legacy of Modern Ceramic Art (Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu / Tajimi, Gifu)
2003–2009 Invited to participate in the 17th, 18th and 20th Japan Ceramic Art Exhibition
2003 Invited to participate in the Avellaneda Ceramic Art Symposium (Argentina)
Group exhibition: Crafts Now—21 Artists Each from America, Europe, and Asia (Kanazawa, Ishikawa)
2004 Group exhibition: A Form is Cut—Present Age Ceramic Art of Japan (Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu / Tajimi, Gifu)
2005 Participated in an artist-in-residence program with A.I.R. Vallauris (France)
Group exhibition: Another Story (21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa / Ishikawa)
2006 Group exhibition: The Quintessence of Modern Japanese Ceramics (Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum)
Ceramic NOW+― Now and Future in the Ceramic Arts (Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo)
2007 Group exhibition: Art Biotope—Sprites in the Forest at Niki Club (Nasu, Tochigi)
2008 Won the Award for Excellence at the Kanazawa Kogei Exhibition (Kanazawa, Ishikawa)
2009 Won the “World City of Crafts and Folk Art Declaration” Award at the Kanazawa Kogei Exhibition (Kanazawa, Ishikawa)
2010 Participated in the 1st Triennale of Kogei in Kanazawa (21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa / Ishikawa)
2011 Participated in the Contemporary Kogei Art Fair (Tokyo International Forum / Tokyo)
Group ceramics exhibition (Rakusuitei Museum of Art / Toyama)
Group exhibition: Ceramica Viva–I Ceramisti Giapponesi Premiati a Faenza at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Tokyo (Tokyo)
2012–2013 Served as a graduation examiner and taught a workshop at Universiti Teknologi MARA (Malaysia)
2014 Group exhibition: Contemporary Ceramics Phenomenon (Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum / Ibaraki)
2016 Gave a lecture and a workshop at Tainan National University of the Arts (Taiwan)
Solo exhibition: Hiromi Itabashi: World of White Porcelain, Ishikawa Ongakudo (Kanazawa, Ishikawa)
Group exhibition: Manifestation of the Method—Regionality and Individuality— (Shiinoki Cultural Complex / Kanazawa, Ishikawa)
2017 Established WINDS CERAMIC STUDIO in Bessho-machi, Kanazawa City (Ishikawa)
2018 Keiji Ito & Hiromi Itabashi Duo Exhibition (Gallery Suki / Konan, Aichi)
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