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Touching Stone Gallery  Santa Fe, USA

www.touchingstone.com    director@touchingstone.com

 

Keiichi Shimizu

Tanba Modernism

April 6 - May 2, 2012

Review: "Breaking Through Boundaries" by Kate McGraw in Albuquerque Journal North Santa Fe, April 6, 2012

See more of this artist's work in 2004 show, 2006 show, 2008 show, 2012 show, 2013 show

Keiichi Shimizu Tanba Modernism ceramic show

Tanba Modernism - Contemporary Ceramics of Keiichi Shimizu  清水圭一

Nestled in a beautiful valley along the Shitodani River among towering mountains northwest of Kyoto is the picturesque village Tachikui, the historic center of Tanba* pottery. The rich ferrous soil in this area has supported generations of farmers and artisans since the early Kamakura period (1180-1230). The oldest existing nobori-gama (climbing kiln) in Japan is found here. Because of its relative isolation, Tanba pottery retains much of the traditional characters. Against this historical backdrop, the groundbreaking work of Keiichi Shimizu is a conspicuous standout.

Born in 1962 in Tanba into a potter family spanning four generations, Shimizu was more interested in pushing boundary of the art than adhering to the traditional styles. He went to Kyoto to study pottery at Kyoto City Vocational School. After returned to Tanba in 1984, he launched a very productive career in pursuit of his own artistic vision, producing some of the most innovative works in contemporary Japanese ceramics.

Traditionally, most Tanba potters base their works on wheel-thrown vases. Shimizu has virtually created a new genre of contemporary Tanba pottery - one that is driven by his vision and requires entirely new approaches. He prefers to build original forms by hand or from slabs. His clay body is a special blend using clay he harvests from the mountains mixed with clay prepared by the Tanba Guild. A white clay indigenous to Tanba is used as a decorative slip. He uses both a gas kiln and a traditional wood-fire kiln for different effects.

Sleek, minimalist forms are a distinctive hallmark of Shimizu’s work. The lines are clean and graceful, the surfaces taut and uncluttered. Curves are used sparingly and with purpose, to hold together the exquisite lines and introduce tension and visual interests to the stark geometry. Colors are kept soft and muted, to complement rather than compete with the beautiful shapes. The overall results are noble, elegant forms that belie great conceptual sophistication and meticulous attention to details, a refreshingly modern interpretation of the quiet aesthetic in old Tanba tradition.

In a career spanning almost three decades, Shimizu has won many awards. These include the Grand Prize of Hyogo Prefecture Art & Crafts Show, Modern Craft Award in Japan Modern Art & Crafts Show, and the Excellence Award in Tanabe Museum Cha-no-yu Show. The current exhibition features a body of new works by this innovative ceramic artist destined to make a major and lasting impact on contemporary Tanba pottery.

* Tanba is a phonetic translation of two Japanese characters: 丹 'Tan' (red) and 波 'Ba' (wave). Tanba, Land of Red Waves, got its name from a kind of red rice grown in ancient time which turned the fields into a sea of red. The name is often corrupted as Tamba. Tanba is used here to preserve the Japanese pronunciation and meaning, following revised Hepburn Romanization.

Click on images to view selected pieces.
Inquiry/order: director@touchingstone.com, see
Inquiry/Order

Shimizu Vase 1Shimizu Vase 1Shimizu Vase 1
Vase Form No.1
18" x 8" x 7"  (3 views)
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Shimizu Vase 2Shimizu Vase 2Shimizu Vase 2
Vase Form No.2
18.5" x 8" x 7"  (3 views)
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Shimizu Vase 8Shimizu Vase 8
Vase Form No.8
13" x 11" x 11"  (2 views)
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Shimizu Vase 9Shimizu Vase 9
Vase Form No.9
16" x 7" x 6"  (2 views)
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Shimizu Vase 3Shimizu Vase 3Shimizu Vase 3
Vase Form No.3
15" x 6.5" x 4.5"  (3 views)
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Shimizu Vase 4Shimizu Vase 4Shimizu Vase 4
Vase Form No.4
14.5" x 6" x 4"  (3 views)
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Shimizu Vase 10Shimizu Vase 10
Vase Form No.10
10.5" x 7" x 5"  (2 views)
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 Shimizu Vase 11aShimizu Vase 11b
Vase Form No.11
11.5" x 3" x 3"  (2 views)
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Shimizu Vase 5Shimizu Vase 5
Vase Form No.5
7" x 3.5" x 2"  (2 views)
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Shimizu Vase Form No.7Shimizu Vase 7Shimizu Vase 7
Vase Form No.7
16" x 7" x 6"  (3 views)
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Shimizu Vase 12Shimizu Vase 12
Vase Form No.12
7.5" x 5.5" x 2.5"  (2 views)
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 Shimizu Vase 13Shimizu Vase 13
Vase Form No.13
7.5" x 6" x 3"
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Shimizu Vase 14Shimizu Vase 14
Vase Form No.14
9" x 5.5" x 5.5"
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Shimizu Vase 15Shimizu Vase 15
Vase Form No.15
6.5" x 4.5" x 2.5"  (2 views)
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Shimizu Vase 16Shimizu Vase 16
Vase Form No.16
12.5" x 5" x 3"  (2 views)
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Shimizu Vase 17Shimizu Vase 17
Vase Form No.17
10" x 6" x 4"  (2 views)
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Shimizu Vase 18Shimizu Vase 18
Vase Form No.18
9" x 4.5" x 4"  (2 views)
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Shimizu Vase 21Shimizu Vase 21Shimizu Vase 21
Shimizu Vase No.21
9.5" x 5" x 4"  (3 views)
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Shimizu Vase 22Shimizu Vase 22
Vase Form No.22
8.5" x 5.5" x 3"  (2 views)
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Shimizu Platter 23Shimizu Platter 23
Platter No.23
8.5" x 6.5" x 2"  (2 views)
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 Shimizu Platter 24]Shimizu Platter 24
Platter No.24
8.5" x 6.5" x 2"  (2 views)
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Shimizu Platter 25Shimizu Platter 25
Platter No.25
8.5" x 6.5" x 2"  (2 views)
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Shows & Awards

1986  Hyogo Prefecture Art and Craft Show

1989  Governor’s Award, Hyogo Prefecture Art and Craft Show

1991  Japan Modern Art and Craft Show

1992  Solo show, Gallery Totosho, Osaka

Japan Modern Art and Craft Show

1993  Kinki Division Award, Japan Modern Art and Craft Show

Japan Craft Show

1994  Recognition Award, Saga Daikakuji Flower & Ceramics Show

Asahi Craft Show

Yaki-Shime-ten open competition

NITTEN Show

1995  Solo show, Gallery Ogawa, Kyoto

Kinki Division Award, Japan Modern Art and Craft Show

Japan Craft Show

NITTEN Show

Director’s Award, Kyoto Chamber of Commerce

Daikakuji Award, Daikakuji Flower and Ceramics Show

1996  Solo show, Gallery Kobe Daimaru, Kobe

NITTEN Show

Osaka Mayor’s Award, Osaka Craft Show

1997  Solo show, Gallery Osaka Mitsukoshi, Osaka

NITTEN Show

Recognition Award, Cha-no-yu Show, Tanabe Museum

1998  Solo show, Gallery Kobe Daimaru, Kobe

Recognition Award, Cha-no-yu Show, Tanabe Museum

1999  Solo show, Gallery Kobe Daimaru, Kobe

Japan Craft Show

2000   2-person show, Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2001  Grand Prize for Hyogo Prefecture Art & Crafts Show

2002  Modern Craft Award, Japan Modern Art & Crafts Show

2004  Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Kobe Club, Kobe

2006  Solo show, Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico

2007  Recognition Award, Kikuchi Biennial

Solo show, Gallery Kintetsu, Yottkaichi

Solo show, Gallery Daimaru, Tottori

2008  Solo show, Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Solo show, Gallery Kandori, Tokyo

2009  Recognition Award, Kikuchi Biennial

Recognition Award, Cha-no-yu Show, Tanabe Museum

Solo show, Gallery Kobe Daimaru, Kobe

2010  Solo show, Gallery Kandori, Tokyo

Excellence Award, Cha-no-yu Show, Tanabe Museum

Solo show, Watanabe Fine Art Gallery, Osaka

2011  Solo show, Gallery Kobe Daimaru, Kobe

Recognition Award, Cha-no-yu Show, Tanabe Museum

Recognition Award, Japan Ceramic Art Exhibition

2012  Solo show, Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico