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Tea bowl
Mokichi Otsuka
[Ceramic + Porcelain ]
Item Number:C17651
Asia Week Hours:
March 15 – March 24, 11 am – 6 pm
except Sunday, March 18: by appointment;
March 26 – April 7, Mon. – Fri., 11 am – 6 pm

OPENING RECEPTION: March 15, 6 – 8 pm

In celebration of Ippodo Gallery NY’s 10th anniversary, the gallery is delighted to announce an exhibition of tea wares by more than 15 contemporary Japanese potters. Ranging from young artists to master craftsmen, the works evoke a wonderful feeling of harmony. The five senses are magnified as you hold a bowl in your palms, with each acting as their own microcosmos.

Ippodo has always focused on the tea-related artworks as a core cultural component of Japan, with tea ceremony and its accoutrements at the center of that ideology. This is the second exhibition of tea wares by these Ippodo artists, as the first was held in 2014. Exhibiting artists include Keiji Ito, Hiromi Itabashi, Kohei Nakamura, Kyusetsu Miwa XII, Chozaemon Ohi XI, Tetsu Suzuki, Shiro Tsujimura among others.

With the unique process of tea ceremony, appreciation for tea wares differs from that of other crafts. Unlike an artwork that is only appreciated visually, tea ceremony embodies beauty and joyfulness, as achieved through contemplation and tranquility. During the ceremony, the bowl is raised with both hands, and the drinker savors the texture of the piece against his or her lips. Reflection on the green color of the tea, the full weight of the vessel, and the shape of the kodai, or the foot of the bowl, all add to the experience of pleasure.

The tea wares are transformed through shape and glaze, the full object ripe with discovery in detail. Each modification, no matter how small, becomes a source of appreciation--a culmination of Japanese aesthetics.

The Japanese tea ceremony was first developed during the Azuchi Momoyama period (1573-1603), with the wabi-cha style perfected by Sen-no-Rikyu (1522-91), which spread widely among the Samurai class. The guest entrance to the tea ceremony room is extremely small and low, forcing the guests to enter on their knees, to oblige the Samurai to leave swords outside. A Samurai valued his sword as highly as his life, so to part with it in order to participate in tea ceremony no doubt created a heightened atmosphere of humility. As such, the small tea room must have offered the Samurai a unique form of freedom, equalizing all who entered.

While the earliest tea ceremonies were restricted to feudal lords and high-ranking samurai, the rituals gradually became popular with the rich merchant class during the mid-Edo period (18th century). Edo-period tea ceremony was characterized by refinement, combining the Zen Buddhism with the Way of the Samurai. From spiritual sublimation across society to the delicate and intensive craftsmanship of utensils, (particularly tea bowls), tea ceremony grew in cultural and ultimately historical importance. At different points in history, a single tea bowl has even been considered more important than territory. A simple tea bowl contains a sense of great presence and infinite power: Microcosms of a great maternal spirit.
Various traditional styles of tea bowl continue today: Raku, Ido, Hagi, Karatsu and Shino are still being created. Japanese potters often dedicate their lives to the creation of the perfect tea bowl. The tea master devotes all his energies to a single bowl of tea to make it a unique encounter, allowing the guest to appreciate the experience through all five senses.

But the sensory experience of the tea ceremony is not merely solitary. The ritual allows for important communication; it joins people together, releasing the boundlessness of imagination to flourish. In a single tea bowl, happiness can be found.

Exhibiting Artists ( alphabetical order ) :

Yasushi Fujihira
Noriyuki Furutani
Hiromi Itabashi
Keiji Ito
Yukiya Izumita
Kyusetsu Miwa XII
Kohei Nakamura
Akio Niisato
Nobuo Nishida
Chozaemon Ohi XI
Mokichi Otsuka
Tetsu Suzuki
Ruri Takeuchi
Shiro Tsujimura
Kai Tsujimura
Yui Tsujimura
Soyo & Shodo Yamagishi
About the Artist
After studying terra-cotta ceramics in Italy, he has concentrated on creating sculptures combining elements of East and West. His tea bowl should take the shape of two hand held together in prayer.

1956 Born in Tokyo, Japan
1979 Graduated from the Department of Japanese Painting, Tokyo University of Art,
1981 Completed postgraduate studies of Japanese Painting, Tokyo University of Art,
1996 Graduated from National Institute of Art and Ceramics, G.Ballardini, Faenza
1994 Solo exhibition, Gallery Awaji-Cho (Tokyo)
1997 Solo exhibition, Loggetta del 39 (Faenza, Italy)
Exhibition, Ceramic Virtuality of Variable and Variant Pots, Palazzo Cisi
(Milano, Italy)
1998 50th Ceramics Biennale, International Museum of Ceramics (Faenza, Italy)
4th Ceramics Biennale (Cairo, Egypt)
38th Castellamonte Ceramics Art and Industry Exhibition, Palazzo Comunale
(Turin, Italy)
1999 Solo exhibition, Studio Cavalieri (Bologna, Italy)
Exhibition, Terracotta from Italy –Aldo Rontini and Otsuka Mokichi, Sogetsu Art
Museum (Tokyo)
2000 Solo exhibition, Tobi Art Fair, Tokyo Art Club (Tokyo)
2002 Solo exhibition, Terracotta of Otsuka Mokichi, Art Salon Mitsukoshi (Tokyo)
2003 Solo exhibition, Terracotta of Otsuka Mokichi, Art Gallery Onuma (Yamagata)
Solo exhibition, Tobi Art Fair, Tokyo Art Club (Tokyo)
2004 4th The 21st Century Exhibition of Japanese Art, Tokyo Art Club (Tokyo,
Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka and Kanazawa), annually exhibited to 2015
Exhibition, Creatures: Modern Crafts and Design from the Museum Collection,
The National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (Tokyo)
2005 Solo exhibition, Terracotta of Otsuka Mokichi, Signature Gallery Mitsukoshi
2006 Exhibition, inner smile, Loggetta del 39 (Faenza, Italy)
Exhibition, Human from in Clay –the Minds Eyes, The Museum of Contemporary
Art; The Shigaraki Ceramics Cultural Park (Shiga), The Museum of Ceramics
Art, Hyogo (Hyodo), Shizuoka Art Gallery (Shizuoka)
2007 Solo exhibition, Salon Fontanone (Faenza, Italy)
2008 Solo exhibition, inner smile, Foundation Tito Balestra Museum of modern-
contemporary Art (Longiano, Italy)
2009 Solo exhibition, inner smile, niArt GALLERY (Ravenna, Italy)
2010 Solo exhibition, inner smile, Signature Gallery Mitsukoshi (Tokyo)
2011 Solo exhibition, inner smile, The International Museum of Ceramics
(Faenza, Italy)
2012 Solo exhibition, Goddess and Cat, Gallery Burai (Yamanashi)
Solo exhibition, inner smile, Palazzo Esposizioni (Faenza, Italy)
2013 Solo exhibition, Gallery Yoshii (Paris, France)
Exhibition, The form of clay, Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art (Tochigi)
2014 Solo exhibition, inner smile, Signature Gallery Mitsukoshi (Tokyo)
2015 Solo exhibition, Otsuka Mokichi ‘Encounter’ 2015, Manyoudou (Tokyo)
2016 Solo exhibition, Vibration of Silence, niArt GALLERY (Ravenna, Italy)
Exhibition, Find novel dreams, and raise those to be real, Tokyo Art Club
(Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka and Kanazawa)
Solo exhibition, Vibration of Silence, LIXIL Gallery (Tokyo)
2017 Art fair, Collective Design 2017 in New York (Ippodo Gallery)

Public Collections:
Victoria and Albert Museum (U.K.),The International Museum of Ceramic in Faenza (Italy) , Foundation Tito Balestra Museum of modern-contemporary Art (Italy), The National Museum of Modern Art (Tokyo), The Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo, Takasaki Art Center College, Takamatsu City Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art; The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park (Shiga) and Musée Tomo (Tokyo)