Touching Stone Gallery logo

Touching Stone Gallery  Santa Fe, USA


Yukiya Izumita

See 'Still Point' article on this artist (Ceramics: Art & Perception, v.91, p.80-83, 2013)
Artist reception : July 27, 5 - 7 p.m.
Exhibition: July 27 - August 22, 2012

More on this artist:

2009 show, 2010 show, 2011 show, 2012 show, 2013 show

Yukiya Izumita Aurora Show 

Aurora - Contemporary Ceramics of Yukiya Izumita  泉田 之也  

Aurora, the mythical Goddess of Dawn,

 appears every morning and flies across the sky,

 bringing hope and renewal to a new day.

On March 11, 2011, a powerful earthquake triggered a monstrous tsunami that devastated many coastal towns in northeastern Japan. Noda Mura, the home town of ceramic artist Yukiya Izumita, suffered a direct hit that leveled much of the town. Hundreds of homes were washed out to the sea with unimaginable human toll. Those who survived faced overwhelming difficulties to rebuild their town and lives. In the midst of this calamity, Izumita fulfilled his promise to complete the work for an exhibition in Touching Stone Gallery, barely three weeks after the disaster1. In the aftermath of this disaster, Izumita channeled his emotions to produce a spectacular body of work for the current show, entitled Aurora.

Izumita (b. 1966) grew up in Iwate Prefecture in northern Japan in an area with high mountains, deep forests and beautiful sea shores. After college, he worked for three years in Tokyo but decided that the populous metropolis was not for him. In 1992, he followed his true calling and returned north to take up an apprenticeship in pottery making under Kokuji-yaki master Gakuho Simodake. In 1995, Izumita established his own kiln in Noda Mura in Iwate Prefecture. In the same year, his innovative work won an Excellence Award in the Nittshin Menbachi Grand Prize Exhibition, the first of a series of prestigious honors which include two Grand Prizes in the 2000 and 2002 Asahi Ceramic Art Exhibitions, and an Excellence Award in the prestigious Japan Ceramic Art Exhibition in 2009.

The first impression of Yukiya Izumita's work is often one of amazement. One seldom expects to see clay honed to razor-thin edges, torn apart, twisted at impossible angles like giant origami, to create shapes that exude quiet beauty and tension, forms that appear unpolished and at the same time complete. Great technical expertise is required to create such work, which stands out even among the most creative contemporary Japanese ceramics.

Beyond the innovative forms and technical brilliance, Izumita's creations are meant to convey deeper meanings. As an artist, Izumita feels a strong connection to nature, especially to the muted colors and roughness of earth in his surroundings. He has a keen sense of the changing seasons, the passage of time, erosion and decay that give texture and character to everything. Izumita has nurtured a strong emotional resonance to the beauty around him, and he wants to share his feelings with others through his ceramic work.

To capture the raw power and beauty of earth, Izumita uses clay from his area, and blends in sand and stones to create a unique clay body with the right combination of resilience and texture. He keeps his forms simple, with purposeful lines and surfaces to convey his visions. He uses both a gas kiln and a wood-fueled kiln for different effects. Glazes are used only to complement his visions, with warm-toned glazes to enhance earthy textures, and cold-toned glazes to evoke water.

The most important element in Izumita's work is hard to define physically: Passage of time is often implicit in each piece, whether it suggests deeply fissured boulders, a dried up and cracked stream bed, or jagged layers of erosion-exposed bedrocks. There is also a sense of mystery and wonder. Depending on one's perspective, the undulating patterns of his Aurora series may evoke the graceful Northern Light (Aurora Borealis) or powerful waves. Like optical illusions, they are Izumita's silent dialog with nature, reminders that beauty and decay, destruction and renewal are forever and inseparably intertwined. They are a tribute to the resilience, inspiration and hope of an extraordinary artist.

1. Izumita’s experience of the disaster will be published in an article entitled Still Point in Ceramics Art & Perception, Vol. 91, 2013.


Click on images to view selected pieces

Inquiry/order:, see Inquiry/Order


  Yukiya Izumita Aurora 1Yukiya Izumita Aurora 1

Aurora No.1
ceramic sculpture  17.5" x 11" x 8"h  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 2Yukiya Izumita Aurora 2

Aurora No.2
ceramic sculpture  17" x 10" x 10"h  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 3Yukiya Izumita Aurora 3

Aurora No.3
ceramic sculpture  13" x 5.5" x 10"h  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 4Yukiya Izumita Aurora 4

Aurora No.4
ceramic sculpture  14.5" x 8.5" x 11"h  (2 views; restored)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 5Yukiya Izumita Aurora 5

Aurora No. 5
wood-fired ceramic sculpture  17" x 10.5" x 5"h  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 6Yukiya Izumita Aurora 6

Aurora No. 6
wood-fired ceramic sculpture   20.5" x 10" x 8.5"h  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 7Yukiya Izumita Aurora 7

Aurora No.7
ceramic sculpture  12" x 7" x 8.5"  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 8Yukiya Izumita Aurora 8

Aurora No.8
ceramic sculpture  9" x 6" x 7"h  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 9Yukiya Izumita Aurora 9

Aurora No.9
ceramic sculpture  6.5" x 6" x 4.5"  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 2Yukiya Izumita Aurora 10
Aurora No.10
wood-fired ceramic sculpture   14" x 11" x 4.5"h

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 11Yukiya Izumita Aurora 11
Aurora No.11
ceramic vase/sculpture   13.5"h x 8" x 3"  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 12Yukiya Izumita Aurora 12
Aurora No.12
Ceramic sculpture   15" x 10" x 8.5"h  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 13Yukiya Izumita Aurora 13
Aurora No.13
ceramic vase/sculpture   6" x 6" x 7.5"h   (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 14Yukiya Izumita Aurora 14
Aurora No.14
ceramic vase/sculpture  9.5" x 7.5" x 9"h  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 15Yukiya Izumita Aurora 15
Aurora No.15
ceramic vase/sculpture   10.5" x 6.5" x 11"h  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 16 Yukiya Izumita Aurora 16
Aurora No.16
ceramic box/sculpture   9" x 9" x 7"h  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 17Yukiya Izumita Aurora 17
Aurora No.17
ceramic vase/sculpture   8" x 3.5" x 9"h  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 18Yukiya Izumita Aurora 18
Aurora No.18
ceramic vase/sculpture  12.5" x 6" x 9.5"h  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 19Yukiya Izumita Aurora 19
Aurora No.19
ceramic box/sculpture   13" x 5" x 5.5"h  (2 views)

Yukiya Izumita Aurora 20Yukiya Izumita Aurora 20
Aurora No.20
wood-fired ceramic vase/sculpture   12" x 10" x 9"h  (2 views)

Izumita family in Touching Stone Gallery         Izumita Aurora Exhibition
Izumita family at the opening reception
Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe
Izumita reception 1Izumita Reception 3Izumita reception 2

Solo Exhibitions
1996   Tanaka-ya, Hirosaki
1999   Kawatoku-kyubu, Morioka (5 times since 1999)
2000   Miharu-ya, Hachinohe (3 times since 2000)
2003   Ginza Renga Garo, Tokyo (4 times since 2003)
          Gallery Anri, Nagoya (2 times since 2003)
2004   Gallery Oiso, Kanagawa
          INAX Tile Museum, Tokoname
          Gallery Kaze-no-Kura, Yamagata (3 times since 2004)
2005   Miharu-do Gallery, Tokyo (3 times since 2005)
2006   Gallery Takubo, Sendai
          Gallery Kyoeigama, Tokoname
2007   Mumon-an Gallery, Tokyo
          Mitsukoshi Department Store, Sapporo
          Keio Department Store, Tokyo
2008   Mitsukoshi Department Store, Sendai
2009   Gallery Tourou, Nagoya
          Mitsukoshi Department Store, Sapporo
          Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
2010  Takashimaya Department Store, Okayama
          Mitsukoshi Department Store, Sapporo
          Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
2011   Contemporary Kogie Art Fair, Tokyo
          Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA  
          Galerie Barbara Ruetz, Munich, Germany
2012   Asia Week, New York, NY, USA
          Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Awards & Honors
1995   Excellence Award, Nittshin Menbachi Grand Prize Exhibition
2000   Grand Prize, 38th Asahi Ceramic Art Exhibition
2002   Grand Prize, 40th Asahi Ceramic Art Exhibition
2004   Invitational, 22th Asahi Modern Craft Exhibition
2009   Excellence Award, 20th Japan Ceramic Art Exhibition