An Exhibition of Japanese Fusuma Photography by Kenji Wakasugi – Synthesis –




Ippodo New York : March 10 – April 22, 2016

Ippodo Tokyo : March 31 – April 9, 2016


This March, Ippodo Gallery will showcase the fusuma photography of Kenji Wakasugi at both the Tokyo and New York gallery locations. Coinciding with Asia Week New York, the stateside exhibition is Wakasugi’s first-ever solo show outside Japan. 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of Ippodo Gallery in Japan, and its 8th year with a gallery here in New York.

The photographs on view pair Edo-Period (1603-­1868) fusuma – decorated paper doors used in traditional Japanese buildings – with landscape and nature photographs. The fusuma doors used were sourced from the 17th century feudal domain Kishū (from the Rinshun-kaku, which has since been relocated to the Sankeien Garden in Yokohama and is a designated Important Cultural Property of Japan), once belonging to the eminent and long-powerful Tokugawa family.

Wakasugi (born 1941) drew inspiration from Junichirō Tanizaki’s essay, ‘In Praise of Shadows’, an eloquent aesthetic analysis. Tanizaki writes, “We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates…Our ancestors, forced to live in dark rooms, presently came to discover beauty in shadows, ultimately to guide shadows toward beauty’s ends.” The quote is soft and sensitive, not unlike Wakasugi’s photography.

The fusuma images are juxtaposed with landscapes and nature photography in a delicate balance achieved through a lengthy, painstaking process of digital artistry. The distinct pairing is a contemporary comment on reverence for tradition. Wakasugi explains that, “as the world rushes towards globalization, I find myself becoming more attracted by Japan’s unique culture and customs.”

In Wakasugi’s work, the historic locations are selected for their lack of electricity to emphasize only the original, natural light of 17th century Japan. In fact, fusuma paintings are best seen with natural light, candlelight, moonlight, or tatami reflection. This world of shadow is an essential place in Japanese tradition. Fusuma has been the canvas in Japanese art history – an aesthetic and philosophical expression and a way to communicate on life and death. Fusuma is a reverse concept of culture and sensibility in space, both a barrier and a connection to spirituality in nature.

Landscapes are carefully chosen for their dual endurance and fragility. One lone pine tree in Rikuzentakata City survived the great tsunami in 2012. With nostalgic experiences in the Himalayas, travels across the valleys of China and the vistas of Patagonia in South America, Wakasugi has chosen to pair the fusuma with his unforgettable sights so that they may live forever.

Wakasugi was educated at Saga Prefectural Karatsu West High School and what is now known as the school of Tokyo Visual Arts, working at Roppongi Studio in Tokyo before going freelance in 1975. His first photobook, My Shangri-La, was published by Hirakawa Publishers in 1996, followed by an exhibition of the same name at Canon Salon in Ginza, Tokyo. Since then, Wakasugi has been recognized with an award from the Art Directors Club in New York, exhibitions at the Japanese Embassy in Belgium, and Nikon Salon in Ginza, Tokyo.


For more information and to view an online catalogue, please visit our Exhibition page, or see our official press release.

Thank you for coming to Yūki Hayama’s workshop “Expressing Myths and Legends” at the Museum of Arts and Design on Dec 18th!



Porcelain artist Yūki Hayama’s workshop held on December 18th at the Museum of Arts and Design, was a big success!

Participants could watch Yūki Hayama’s incredible drawing technique before their very eyes, and some of them enjoyably experienced porcelain painting themselves.


Yūki Hayama’s first solo exhibition in the United States presented by Ippodo Gallery NY is coming in fall 2016.

Please wait for further announcements!







Yuki Hayama’s Workshop at Museum of Arts and Design on Friday, December 18th

Yuki Hayama

Yūki Hayama : Expressing Myths and Legends




Friday, December 18, 2015 from 1 p.m.



at Museum of Arts and Design ( 6th floor )

2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019


Free with Museum Admission



Experience the skill and mastery of Japanese ceramic artist Yuki Hayama as he demonstrates his drawing and painting techniques.

Hayama’s imagery blends myths and legends from around the word that get translated onto incredibly expressive porcelain plates.

Visitors will be able to try porcelain painting themselves and also have the opportunity to see Hayama’s work on view in the exhibition Japanese Kôgei | Future Forward.

Great for visitors of all ages and backgrounds.


Please visit MAD’s official website for more details.

SOFA Chicago 2015, a Great Success!




SOFA Chicago, which ran from 11/5 – 11/8, came to a close amid the entire event being a great success.

Being that it was the 5th time that we’ve participated in the fair, there was a sense of nostalgia as we came across familiar faces and felt the warmth of what seemed like a second home.

We were delighted to engage with many new people as well.

Many artists’ pieces found new homes, and the pieces on display brought out a variety of emotions in attendees. We thank everyone who was able to visit us at our gallery booth.


We will continue to find only the highest caliber of work within the genre of contemporary Japanese art-craft; our promise is to seek out these impressive works from all over Japan.

These are pieces that coexist harmoniously with nature, pieces that celebrate the joy of life, pieces that are born out of the artistry found in pairing the utmost level of technique with aesthetic sensibility.

It is in moments when world affairs look bleak that we can turn to the potential of the arts –

I believe that when beauty is created, it can spur empathy in human beings.


November 17, 2015

Ippodo Gallery New York


Ippodo Gallery to Participate in SOFA Chicago Again this Year!

Masahiro Maeda Large bowl with enamel and silver overglaze

Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design

Navy Pier’s Festival Hall
600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

Booth 1220

Opening Night:
Thursday, November 5, VIP Preview ( Invitation Only ):
5 – 9 pm | Public Preview: 7 – 9 pm

General Admission:
Friday, November 6, 2015
11 am – 7 pm

Saturday, November 7, 2015
11 am – 7 pm

Sunday, November 8, 2015
Noon – 6 pm


Ippodo Gallery, which is based in Tokyo and New York, is proud to announce that it will participate in the SOFA Chicago (Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design) exhibition again this year from November 5-8, 2015. This year will mark the fifth consecutive year that Ippodo has participated in this renowned exhibition.

We will be introducing the most current works by over 18 contemporary Japanese artists selected from a wide range of fields including: bronze, ceramics, porcelain, glass, lacquerware, metal, painting, calligraphy, and photography.
These works – which display an exquisite pairing of skill and sense of design, combined with refined aesthetics – are representative of the fine caliber of art crafts in Japan today. These artists have not simply inherited traditional techniques or adopted the philosophies of contemporary art, rather, their works truly embody the world of SurJaponisme.
Exhibiting Artists:

Ken Akaji ( porcelain ) / Koji Hatakeyama ( metal ) /
Hiromi Itabashi ( ceramics ) / Yukiya Izumita ( ceramics ) / Satoshi Kino ( ceramics ) /
Masahiro Maeda ( ceramics ) / Ken Matsubara ( painting ) / Jihei Murase ( lacquer ) /
Tohru Matsuzaki ( lacquer ) / Junko Narita ( doll ) / Katsuya Ohgita ( glass ) /
Suikei Saito ( calligraphy ) / Shota Suzuki ( metal ) / Ruri Takeuchi ( porcelain ) /
Takashi Tomo-oka ( photography ) / Kai Tsujimura ( ceramics ) / Midori Tsukada ( glass ) /
Shinya Yamamura ( lacquer ) and more!


For more information, visit our art fair page.

SOFA’s official website.

An Exhibition of Japanese Kôgei by Five Ippodo Artists From October 21- November 28, 2015

Shinya Yamamura Mother-of-Pearl Tea Container 2015 (H3 W2 1/2 D2 1/2in / H7 W5.7 D5.7cm)

Shinya Yamamura
Mother-of-Pearl Tea Container
(H3 W2 1/2 D2 1/2in / H7 W5.7 D5.7cm)

Kôgei art springs from detailed technique and genuine internal soul.
In honor of our artists’ participation in the Japanese Kôgei Future Forward exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design, Ippodo will be presenting the newest works by our five exhibiting artists at the Museum: Yuki Hayama, Harumi Noguchi, Toshio Ohi, Kohei Nakamura and Shinya Yamamura.
Exhibiting artists:

Shinya Yamamura
Harumi Noguchi
Toshio Ohi
Kohei Nakamura
Yuki Hayama


Click to watch the film of each artist’s process of making!

The Process of Making a Lacquer Piece by Shinya Yamamura

The Process of Etsuke (painting) on Porcelain by Yuki Hayama

The Process of Making a Ceramic Piece by Harumi Noguchi


Ippodo Gallery is based in both Tokyo and New York, working to foster and promote the innovation of traditional Japanese arts and crafts.

Open by appointment 7 days a week, we will be closed from November 2 to 12 due to participation in SOFA Chicago.


For more information and request for admission, please contact Shoko Aono.
For more information and to view an online catalogue, please visit our Exhibition page, or see our official press release.

Thank you for coming to Suikei Saito’s calligraphy demonstration at the Museum of Arts and Design on Sep 11th !!

Suikei Saito's 2nd demonstration.

Suikei Saito’s 2nd demonstration.


Suikei Saito’s calligraphy demonstration held on September 11th at the Museum of Arts and Design, was a major success. Her outstanding and graceful performance blew away the crowd. She chose three words “希望”(Hope), “平和”(Peace) and “朋友”(Friendship) for this historically significant day in New York, and the power of calligraphy touched the hearts of New Yorkers.


We deeply appreciate your participation in the event and the cooperation of the Museum of Arts and Design.


Over 30 works, including these three demonstration pieces, are now on view at Ippodo Gallery until October 3rd.

We are looking forward to your visit!


Director Shoko Aono hosted the event.

Director Shoko Aono hosted the event.


The crowd welcomed Suikei Saito.

The crowd welcomed Suikei Saito.

Mr. Glenn Adamson (The director of Museum of Arts and Design) gave us a speech about Japanese art and calligraphy.

Mr. Glenn Adamson (The director of Museum of Arts and Design) gave us a speech about Japanese art and calligraphy.

RIMG5109 2


An Exhibition of Calligraphy by Suikei Saito : Art of Lines – “Human, and We Live”

A14573 - 1, 0141

人 (hito) Human


Calligraphy Demonstration by Suikei Saito & Reception :

September 11 ( Friday ) 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.

at Museum of Arts and Design ( 7th floor )  2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

Demonstration schedule
1) 3:30~
2) 4:30~
3) 5:30~

Please R.S.V.P. to or call +1 212.967.4899


NEW YORK, NY, August 4, 2015 – Ippodo Gallery New York is delighted to announce that it will be holding the first exhibition outside Japan of work by calligrapher Suikei Saito, from September 12 to October 3, 2015. For the opening of this exhibition, Saito will perform the calligraphy demonstration “Praying for Peace” at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York on Friday, September 11 from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. Reception for the artist will also take place during the demonstration.

“My struggle started when I became fascinated and astonished by the world of calligraphy, which is the ‘art of lines,’ and its depth, and when I made up my mind to master it.” – Suikei Saito

Suikei Saito first held a writing brush when she was twelve. After marrying and raising a family, Saito began searching for something to enrich her life. As fate would have it, she once again encountered calligraphy. With a renewed commitment to calligraphy she accepted the challenge of a journey without end. Her glyphs, created by a woman who has lived as a wife and a mother, are full of vitality, an enveloping warmth, an innocent boldness, a subtle humility, and, above all, a sense of elegance.

Suikei Saito first held a writing brush when she was twelve. After marrying and raising a family, Saito began searching for something to enrich her life. As fate would have it, she once again encountered calligraphy. With a renewed commitment to calligraphy she accepted the challenge of a journey without end. Her glyphs, created by a woman who has lived as a wife and a mother, are full of vitality, an enveloping warmth, an innocent boldness, a subtle humility, and, above all, a sense of elegance.


Saito has adopted the theme “Human, and We Live,” for her first solo exhibition in the human melting pot of New York. In preparation, she has set to work exhaustively on the character 人, hito, human, writing it again and again. It is a strange character that looks almost like two people are holding out their hands to support each other. She also wrote the characters for the full range of human emotions. Having explored the meaning and history of each character, her thoughts on paper are expressed in a state of no mind. Her calligraphy is an act of meditation, a spiritual dance. Each character is scattered one by one like sparks resembling elements in an abstract painting.


Calligraphy is an art woven of lines and the meanings of the characters. These Chinese characters originated in the Shang dynasty between 1700 and 1046 B.C.. While each letter in the alphabet indicates one sound, each Chinese character has one meaning, and there are well over 100,000 of these ideograms. Chinese characters began reaching Japan in the first century B.C. and have been used for two millennia to write Japanese. In Japan, they are known as kanji, “Chinese characters.” The art of calligraphy arrived later, with the transmission of Buddhism to Japan, and developed swiftly. Copying classic texts by the ancients or highly talented calligraphers became, for example, part of Zen training. By the late ninth century, in the Heian period, hiragana, a phonetic script unique to Japan was created to simplify writing Japanese. Calligraphy became regarded as one of Japan’s traditional arts, along with the tea ceremony, flower arranging, and the incense ceremony. There are now about seven or eight million practitioners of calligraphy in Japan. The writing implements used in calligraphy are distinctive. The brushes are made of animal hair (from sheep, tanuki raccoon dogs, and other sources). Sumi, ink, begins by mixing soot generated by burning either wood or oil (sesame, rapeseed, or soybean oil) with glue to form an ink stick. Some ink sticks are four hundred years old. Rubbing the ink stick on an inkstone or suzuri, which has a small pool of water at one end creates the smooth glossy liquid ink used in calligraphy. The process of taking time to rub the ink stick and make one’s own ink could be said to be a ritual in itself.


Today in our digital world, glyphs of all sorts are mass produced by machine. The glyphs that human beings write are, however, never the same. No two are ever alike. They are thus a tool of communication that captures the vigor, the energy, and even the heart and soul of the individual. Through the swing and graze of Saito’s brush and in the distinctive marks that result, the subtleties of the heart are expressed. This work goes beyond writing to become a form of painting.


By offering a demonstration of calligraphy in New York on September 11, Saito wishes to communicate the splendor of uniting without conflict.  We, Ippodo Gallery believe that her calligraphy transcends language to speak to us, to show us a path by which people can unite.


[ Suikei Saito’s Biography ]

1988 Studied under Syunkei Yahagi

1990 Won her first prize in the 42nd Mainichi Shodo Exhibition

1991 Won her first prize in the 39th Dokuritsu Sho Exhibition

2002/2003 Received an excellent prize at the 50th and 51st Dokuritsu Sho Exhibition

2005 Received a Parliament Building Vice-President Award at Vienna New Century

Court Art Festival (held at the Imperial Palace at Innsbruck, Austria)

2006 Received a gold prize at Today’s Japanese Art Exhibition (held at Monaco

Festival in 2006)

2010 Received an excellent prize at the 62nd Mainichi Shodo Exhibition


Present: An associate member of the Mainichi Shodo Association

An associate member of the Dokuritsu Shojindan Foundation

An instructor at Shiragiku-kai, Kioi Art Gallery, The Space “MAI”

An Exhibition of Ceramics by Ken Akaji – Spiral –


Aka-e vase
H14 3/4 W10 1/4 D10 1/4in
H37.1 W25.8 D25.8cm

Ippodo Gallery NY is delighted to announce that it will be holding the first solo exhibition outside Japan, of Japanese Aka-e porcelain by renowned master, Ken Akaji. The exhibition will be held from June 18 to July 3, 2015. Focusing on his latest ‘Spiral’ series, the exhibition will introduce forty works, including pots, bowls, plates and vases.

Ken Akaji was born in the city of Kanazawa in 1938. Kanazawa is a beautiful city, second only to Kyoto as a place where traditional culture not only survives, but flourishes. A castle town during the Edo period (1603-1868), it was home to the Shogun’s most trusted followers, the Maeda family. Kanazawa was a rich city with ample food, clothing and housing, and to this day, large numbers of its people are involved in traditional industries. This is the city where Ken Akaji was born and where, for sixty years, from the age of thirteen, he has continued to apply Aka-e designs to porcelain. However, his work differs slightly from the traditional Kutani-ware for which Kanazawa is famous. Among the old kilns of Japan, old Kutani stood out for its use of colorful glazes combined with gold coloring, producing flamboyant designs; many famous works remain and the area has produced large numbers of potters.

Akaji is a part of the Kutani ceramics world, but it would appear that his philosophical designs have always been driven by his rebellious spirit. He has struggled against taking the easy way presented by tradition, banal Kutani-ware, the arguably shallow aspects of contemporary art, and outdated ideas or concepts.

In his younger days, he was ‘convinced that [he] could express things through ‘shape’ and ‘red’ coloring alone.’ Despite his outstanding skill at the wheel, he often displays his creativity through works with distorted shapes. In addition, his choice of red coloring, symbolic of positive energy, dates back to memories of his youth. Until he was 15 years old, he lived in the district of Kanazawa that was famous for it’s geishas. He would observe the bengara (red iron oxide) that was used to paint the lattices on the front of the buildings in the area’s side streets – streets that were filled with the comings and goings of adult men and women. He reminisces that this is the origin of the red he uses in his work. Additionally, he comes from a family of lacquer workers. His uncle was the ‘Living National Treasure’, Yusai Akaji, and his father produced the wooden bases for lacquer artists. So when Akaji left home to start work in the ceramics world, he chose red for his works, as it was the same red (vermilion) his family had used for generations in their own work.

The current ‘Spiral’ series of work appears to have stimulated his creative spirit. If you look closely at familiar vegetables, such as white radishes, carrots, onions, etc., you will notice that the leaves and roots create a junction where they meet, where the energies from both top and bottom conflict. It is the point at which the energy that flows from top to bottom and from bottom to top clash, that Akaji seeks to express through his porcelain. To these, he has added a red spiral drawn in a single stroke. There is another red spiral on the interior. This expresses the energy of Ken Akaji; it is the energy possessed by this quiet, mild-mannered, seventy-seven-year-old, that has exploded out from within, and has taken shape in the outside world.

– Spiral –
The shape of the Milky Way, of whirlwinds and whirlpools, snails and ivy tendrils—it is the form of the fundamental and mathematical energy of nature, and the pattern we, mankind, have used as a symbol of death and rebirth.

For more information and request for admission, please contact Shoko Aono.
For more information and to view an online catalogue, please visit our Exhibition page, or see our official press release.


Ippodo will participate again in COLLECT London, opening on May 8, 2015!


Masahiro Maeda
Large bowls with enamel and silver overglaze


Ippodo Gallery is excited to announce that we will be exhibiting in”COLLECT: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects” for the second consecutive time!

We will be presenting the most superb examples of contemporary Japanese art crafts.

We look forward to seeing you in London in the pleasant early summer weather.


Exhibiting artists

Ken Akaji, porcelain

Yuki Hayama, porcelain

Yukiya Izumita, ceramics

Shô Kishino, wood

Ryoji Koie, ceramics

Genbei Kondaya, textiles

Ken Matsubara, painting

Tohru Matsuzaki, lacquer

Junko Narita, doll

Yoshio Nishihata, lacquer

Harumi Noguchi, ceramics

Katsuya Ohigita, glass

Shota Suzuki, metal

Ruri Takeuchi, porcelain

Takashi Tomo-oka, photography

Shiro Tsujimura, ceramics

Yui Tsujimura, ceramics

Midori Tsukada, glass

Shinya Yamamura, lacquer



The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects


May 8 – 11, 2015


Saatchi Gallery


Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road

London SW3 4RY

United Kingdom


Ippodo Gallery : Booth 3.3 (Ground Floor Gallery 3)



May 8 – 11, 2014

Public View:

Friday, 8 May, 12pm – 6pm

Saturday 9 May, 11am – 6pm

Sunday 10 May, 11am – 6pm

Monday 11 May, 11am – 4pm


Thursday, 7 May, 4-6pm : Exclusive Preview

Thursday, 7 May, 6-9pm : Collector’s View

Friday, 8 May, 10am – 12pm : Private View


For more information, visit our art fair page.

Collect London’s official website.