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Kouzo Takeuchi

"Kouzo Takeuchi Exhibition - reattempt -"

21st September(Sat),  2019 – 12th October (Sat), 2019 

Hours:12:00~19:00, closed Sundays

 YOD Gallery is delighted to present "Kouzo Takeuchi Exhibition - reattempt -", our first solo exhibition by Kouzo Takeuchi (b.1977).

 Kouzo Takeuchi graduated from Osaka University of Arts, majoring in ceramics, and continued his studies at the Tajimi Municipal Ceramic Design Institute in Gifu Prefecture, continuously braving his chosen medium. He graduated the Design Institute in 2005, and has since worked as an independent artist, and with a focus on structure, approaches his craft academically. His intricate ceramic sculptures have received recognition in Japan as well as abroad.


 For this exhibition, Takeuchi has searched for yet new ways of expression, reconsidering his technique and designs, his relationship to ceramics, and porcelain as a material. The title “reattempt” reflects this approach. Takeuchi has been making ceramic works in the form of sculpture, as well as vessels for everyday use, and in the past years he has noticed the lines between art, craft, and subculture starting to blur in creative fields. “By combining ceramics with other materials, the perception of the material is renewed. In that sense, I hope to move further away from preconceived concepts of ceramic arts and crafts”, Takeuchi describes his recent endeavors. 


 This time Takeuchi will present an installation work, continuing to challenge the limits of expression within ceramics. This work as an aesthetic object is sure to evoke feelings of ephemerality, power, and beauty, turning the normal notions of ceramics on their head. Please join us to see this exhibition in person.


Time Crevasse in Ceramics-The Ceramic Presence Soaring in Space-Time


 Some creators start their work with a clear concept, and choose their means of expression with the goal in mind, while others discover the concept within the process of making the work. Kouzo Takeuchi (b.1977) is the former kind of artist. His signature work is the “Modern Remains” series, which consists of slip-casted rectangular pipes joined together. The pieces are finished by purposely chipping them with a hammer after firing. Rectangular pipes are often seen in mass produced industrial elements, and arranged in rows, are reminiscent of modern buildings. On the other hand, seen form the right angle, they become an accumulation of cubes, a minimalistic modern structure.


   However, the partial destruction of the porcelain elements drastically changes the tone. It is an imitation of natural change over time due to weathering and breakage, and Takeuchi’s pieces may even remind you of ancient ruins. The work manifests as a visualization of the passage of time, with an overwhelming aura that seems to surpass time and space. Takeuchi discovered this “beauty born from destruction” by chance, and started to implement it as a way to express “beauty of imperfection” as well. When considering “Modern Remains”, you also cannot help but think of minimalist Sol LeWitt’s “Incomplete Open Cubes”, despite the differing nature of these works. Takeuchi once said that he feels that “the hexahedron is the ultimate form.” The core of his aesthetic sense is likely found in this statement. His sculptures, which have magical presence, displaying the ever-changing gradients within the stark whiteness of porcelain, and the intersections of light and shadow, have only become more refined over the years. His latest works also combine porcelain with other materials such as glass, wood, and metal. However, these elements serve to emphasize the ceramic medium, encouraging the viewer to re-engage with the material, and thus “ceramics” undoubtedly remains as the foundation of Takeuchi’s work. Further, he strives to make an impact that shatters stereotypes associated with the medium. Nevertheless,  “Modern Remains” appear not as much as ceramics, but as beautiful sculptures that majestically soar in time-space. It is like peeking into a time crevasse, causing the observer to feel a touch of ephemerality and confusing one’s everyday time axis.


   The phrase “time crevasse” is a quote from a poem by Paul Celan, from the collection “Breathturn” (1967). Tsutomu Mizusawa, director of the Yokohama Triennale of 2008, famously chose this phrase as the main theme of the triennale. The development of borderlessness in contemporary art was at the background of this choice. Takeuchi started to work on “Modern Remains” in the latter half of 2000, and the borderless trend has only become more striking since then, possibly defining the era of art that we currently live. In this era, Takeuchi has made the choice to create artwork with ceramics. “My works can be seen as neither ceramics nor sculpture, yet they are both of those things at the same time, and their strength as a modern craft will surely be tested,” he says regarding his fascination with the medium. For this exhibition, Takeuchi is presenting an installation, which encompasses the walls and space of the venue, a part of his quest to challenge the limits of his artistic expression. I invite you to hone your senses, and experience first-hand how the aesthetics and concepts of Kouzo Takeuchi will unfold this time.


Makiko Sakamoto-Martel(Curator, Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo)

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