Artist Spotlight: Yukiya Izumita

Ceramicist Yukiya Izumita began his career training under Gakuho Shimodake in Kokuji-Ware in 1992. Afterwards, in 1995, Izumita went on to open his own studio in Noda Village, Iwate Prefecture, on the border of the Northern Ceramic Production area of Aomori Prefecture. Tohoku, in Northeast Japan, is known for its very severe weather, because of this Izumita became inspired by the costal winds and the endurance found in seaside culture.

Izumita’s artistic career was met with extensive acclaim in Japan. Through exhibiting at SOFA New York in 2005, he was met with international acclaim.

In Japan, Izumita is the recipient of numerous accolades such as the Excellence Award at the 20th Biennial Japanese Ceramic Art Exhibition in 2009 and the Grand Prix at the Asahi Ceramic. Exhibitions of 2000 and 2002.

Greenfield, Indiana – A Day with Sheep: Textiles, Nature, and Friends

Greenfield, Indiana – A Day with Sheep: Textiles, Nature, and Friends

A beautiful day in Indiana with bright blue skies, fresh crisp air, and… sheep!

Ippodo Gallery NY director Shoko Aono, artist Daisuke Nakano, his wife Kumiko Nakano, and host Hannah Hadley take a trip to the countryside of Indiana to learn how to dye fabrics.

The farmstead had lots of animals that roam around and the scenery was beautiful



Fabrics were dyed and rinsed


And hung to dry in the bright sun


What a beautiful day!

We are happy to share this day with you and hope this is the beginning of something familiar yet new.



Newfields, Indianapolis – A Brush with Beauty

Newfields, Indianapolis – A Brush with Beauty: Japanese Paintings in Ink, Color, and Gold

Opening October 25th

Ippodo Gallery’s March artist, Daisuke Nakano, will be exhibiting his paintings at Newfields in a group show titled A Brush with Beauty: Japanese Paintings in Ink, Color, and Gold.


From the website:

The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields has one of the best collections of Edo period (1600-1868) Japanese paintings in the United States. This exhibition will feature the best of the Edo collection, as well as masterpieces across 700 years of Japanese painting. The rich collection features signature paintings by important artists from all the major schools of Japanese painting and will form the centerpiece of a year of exhibitions and programs (indoors and out) inspired by Japan. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

From Newfield’s Museum label:

Magnolia (Luminous Wind)


Using traditional materials and methods, Nakano’s work is an excellent example of contemporary Nihonga. Many aspects like the tarashikomi treatment of the branches and the precise draftsmanship of the blossoms and bird motifs refer to the Rinpa tradition. Yet the overlapping distribution of the blossoms combined with their delicate chiaroscuro suggests a corporeality and spatial depth that is distinctly modern. This combined with the staccato rhythm of the brown sepals in the lower portion of the composition surmounted by the exploding profusion of blossoms invites the eye to travel across the painting, eliciting a delightful sense of motion.

Nakano’s Luminous Wind serves to emphasize the richness of Japanese painting resulting from the cross-fertilization of various traditional painting styles that occurred throughout the Edo period and continues today.

Among the historical masters of painting including Ito Jakuchu, Tawayara Sotatsu, and Suzuki Hoitsu  – masters of Kano and Rinpa Schools-  Nakano Daisuke is represented as the only contemporary artist in this entire group show. Representing 700 years of Japanese painting within the different historical periods of Tosa school, Kano school, Rinpa school, and etc., Nakano’s piece is representative of contemporary Nihonga.

As the finale of the entire exhibition, museum goers were mesmerized by the detail, beautiful use of material and space, and hidden birds. Children really enjoyed counting the birds hidden between the magnolia flowers.

Magnolias are now blooming in Indianapolis!

Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Museum of Fine Arts Houston – Curated Sale: Kogei

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Ippodo Gallery New York had the privilege of being invited by Miwa Sakashita and John R. Stroehlein along with The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to participate in the Curated Sale: Kogei.

Ippodo gallery was invited to demonstrate kogei, the height of Japanese technical refinement. Among our gallery were traditional objects offered by Orientations Gallery.

The works were selected by Bradley Bailey, Ting Tsung, and Wei Fong Chao Curator of Asian Art.

Ippodo Gallery’s director Shoko Aono was proud and delighted to be able to share our contemporary artists to the Friends of Asian Art at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

Artist Spotlight: Tohru Matsuzaki

Tohru Matsuzaki

The Resilience of Urushi Lacquer

Tohru Matsuzaki once said, “Mankind has known the value of wood and lacquer for over ten thousand years. I felt that I wanted to use this to make something in a present continuous form, something that could be used but also would be appreciated universally for its beauty.”



Without a doubt, Tohru Matsuzaki’s lacquerware is the epitome of eloquent beauty. Matsuzaki’s lacquer trays are grounded yet flowing, minimal yet elaborate, contained yet radiant. His bold brush strokes of urushi lacquer create an uneven yet artistically balanced surface.



The texture of the surface is unique – with pools, drips, and soft variations in the lacquer, the artist’s touch is that much more evident.

Urishi lacquer, an ancient material made from sap from the Asian lacquer tree of the same name, is filtered through many layers of special paper. The result is a translucent, honey-like lacquer that ranges from light to dark amber color.



This lacquer is applied through many layers with a brush and as it hardens, it absorbs moisture from the air. This makes the piece very durable and able to withstand erosion from water, acids, and alcohol.



Tohru Matsuzaki’s love of wood and lacquer stems from the possibility of creating artwork that is everlasting. Matsuzaki poetically says “wood is doomed to decay but by applying numerous coats of Urushi Lacquer, it is possible to create objects that will continue to be loved by their owners for 500 or even 1000 years.”

With Tohru Matsuzaki and urushi lacquer, we can appreciate and respect years of Japanese culture, tradition, and warmth. Urushi pieces are symbols of patience, resilience, and perseverance – qualities often associated with the Japanese themselves.


The Breathtaking Landscapes of Ken Matsubara


Featured throughout the world from the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum to Paris and Cologne, Matsubara’s paintings are serene, drifting, yet contained and dynamic. From intense brush strokes to delicate texture, each painting represents a return to nature – an appreciation and consideration of the earth and natural elements.

Treasuring communication with nature and our roots, Matsubara travels around the mountains and plains of the Nasu District gathering inspiration and materials of colored earth and sand to produce his paintings.

Matsubara’s process requires patience, focus, and a steady hand. As he mixes natural materials with acrylic resin to produce paints, he takes a deep breath and with definite brushstrokes applies the paints onto the screen to create beautiful washes of ink and whimsical drips that mimic that of loud, crashing waves.

His paintings reflect Matsubara’s own appreciation of nature as each piece, with ink waterfalls and silver moonlight, reflect the breathtaking anomalies of nature that we sometimes forget.

Grand Opening Success!

Grand Opening at 32 E 67th Street


Was a Huge Success!

October 10 ~ November 22, 2019

Ippodo Gallery’s inaugural opening was last Thursday and we wanted to thank everyone who came to our event.

It was a huge success! Many visitors dropped by and congratulated Ippodo Gallery on the new space and Ken Matsubara’s show – Kukai: Sun and Moon.

Visitors enjoyed conversation, sake, Japanese snacks made by Keiko Aono, and a nice tea ceremony performed by both Ken Matsubara and Kyoko Denda.

Ippodo Gallery is open from Monday to Friday 10am- 6pm. We are open this Saturday from 12-4pm.

A Big Thank You to:

Douglas Dubler………….Lighting director

Jun Miyake………..Flute performance

Kyoko Denda………… Tea Master

Ippodo Gallery Ginza

2019.9/12(Thu)~9/21(Sat)11:00~19:00 Closed on Mondays

Bamboo craft is on the rise of attention from all over the world.  

Abbey Collection: Japanese Bamboo has introduced the freeform and diverse compositions of Bamboo art starting from the Metropolitan Museum, Ōita, Tokyo National Modern Museum then Osaka-Toyo-Toji Museum.

  Beautiful bamboos grow throughout in Japan. The straight and green bamboos have always resided with Japanese life scenes. Since the ancient era, the crafts of bamboo have been used as various tools in everyday life, refining its beauty as fine craft art.

At Ippodo Gallery Ginza, we would like to introduce Hafu Matsumoto and Toshie Oki, successful in formalizing their master, Iizuka Shōkansai’s technique. Hafu Matsumoto has also collaborated with the renowned Spanish fashion brand, LOEWE, by weaving together their leather products with his bamboo practice, which received a great reception.




A Delicate Bloom: The Intricate Beauty of Shinya Yamamura’s Lacquerware

Shinya Yamamura, a modern lacquer artist, uses traditional materials and techniques in his work.

The ornate intricacy of his pieces, from Chaire – traditional tea containers to incense containers, show Yamamura’s craftsmanship, planning, and careful consideration. A single lacquer box takes up to 8 months to complete.

Yamamura starts by planning the shape and decoration of the work and once complete, he creates a maquette out of clay or styrene.


Afterwards, he creates the piece based off this maquette.

​The body is usually made of a Japanese cypress and the decorative qualities made by using Urushi lacquer – a natural varnish unique to East Asia.

Once the form is completed, Yamamura carefully starts the decorative process. The surface of the object is first prepared with multiple coats of thickened Urushi lacquer.

​This is polished to create a deliciously smooth, yet strong, surface


The Urushi lacquer is then used to adhere a variety of materials such as other colored lacquers, metals such as gold and silver, handmade paper, shells, mother of pearl, ivory, etc.. ​

Rich combinations varying from piece to piece, produces artwork that tell a story of their beautiful creation. Like jewels, these pieces undoubtedly omit a precious energy.










Shinya Yamamura likes to say, “I would like my work to have a place in people’s lives, like a flower growing from the side of the road that is picked and taken home.”

Yamamura’s artworks are most certainly like that of a delicate and innocent flower.

Shiro Tsujimura: The Familiar Warmth of Stoneware



Self taught and self made, Shiro Tsujimura’s pottery delivers a sense of freshness and serenity to the viewer. Shiro resides and works in a home built by him and his wife in 1970 in Mima, Nara.




The air is crisp, the paths are green, and as they grow their own vegetables, fish locally, and work freely, Shiro and his wife, Mieko, occasionally welcome guests to their home by cooking a warm meal.

Both in work and lifestyle, Shiro Tsujimura delivers a largeness of spirit. There is a delicate balance between Shiro’s Igaware – a challenging style of Japanese pottery which demands masterful manipulation during firing- and food being served.


As Mieko carefully prepares the dishes, she considers the bowls, vessels, and teacups that will be used. She serves Oden, a simple Japanese vegetable based soup in a stoneware bowl made by her husband as he prepares beef through charcoal grilling. Using the same charcoal that is used to fire the kiln, Shiro’s art and life blends together in an absolutely serene way.


Shiro once said “If asked what I hope to create in my own work, the only answer I could possibly give would be that particular condition of the human heart.”

​Shiro’s pottery represents both a mastery of ceramics and of life; the warmth delivered through each piece is undeniable and truly is the uniqueness of ceramics itself.