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Touching Stone Gallery   Santa Fe, USA

www.touchingstone.com    director@touchingstone.com

 

Keiichi Shimizu

Contemporary Tanba Pottery II

May 2 - 28, 2008

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

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 is less influenced by outside commercial trends than some other more accessible pottery towns in Japan. Old Tanba pottery had a restrained dignified appearance, exuding quiet confidence that reflected its proud heritage. This rich tradition provides the foundation for Keiichi Shimizu, one of the most innovative contemporary Tanba artists.

Keiichi Shimizu, a 4th generation potter, was born in 1962 in Tanba Tachikui. Following the footsteps of his father, a highly respected potter in the Tanba tradition, he went to Kyoto to study pottery at Kyoto City Vocational School. After graduation in 1984, he launched his productive career in his home town as one of the most innovative ceramic artists.

Unlike most other traditional Tanba potters who base their works largely on wheel-thrown vase forms, Shimizu develops many original forms from slab-built surfaces. Shimizu is especially interested in three-dimensional interplay of lines and surfaces, using clay of contrasting colors and textures to accentuate such interactions. His works show a strong minimalist influence, with clean lines and taut surfaces. Curves are used sparingly and purposefully, to introduce tension that seems to hold together the stark geometry. The results are deceptively simple forms that belie great conceptual sophistication and meticulous attention to details, a perfect balance between quiet traditional Japanese aesthetic and dynamic modern interpretation.

To achieve his artistic vision, Shimizu does not shy away from new techniques. He uses both a gas kiln and a traditional wood-firing kiln. Shimizu uses only clay found in the mountains around Tanba. He refines his clay by removing large stones and gravels. His works show a delicate and refined appearance without appearing cold and sterile. He uses a coarser local clay along with a white Tanba clay as a decorative slip, to add texture and characters to his work. The pieces chosen for the current show epitomize the distinctive style of this exceptional artist.

* 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 seas of red. The name is often translated incorrectly as Tamba.

 

Click on images to view selected pieces

Inquiry/order: director@touchingstone.com, see Inquiry/Order

 

 

Shimizu_Vase_33a.jpg (122273 bytes)Shimizu_Vase_33b.jpg (122305 bytes)Shimizu_Vase_33c.jpg (103575 bytes)Shimizu_Vase_33d.jpg (86234 bytes)

Vase Form No. 33

  Ceramic w/ fine-line decoration   12.5"h x 10"w x 4.5"d  (4 views)

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Shimizu_Platter_26a.jpg (292404 bytes)Shimizu_Platter_26c.jpg (308700 bytes)

Platter Form No. 26

  Ceramic w/ 'white clay' decoration   17"w x 17"d x 4"h  (top & bottom views)

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Shimizu_Vase_2a.jpg (80371 bytes)Shimizu_Vase_2b.jpg (77857 bytes)

Shimizu_Vase_3b.jpg (69723 bytes)Shimizu_Vase_3a.jpg (94011 bytes)

Vase Form No. 2

  Ceramic vase  14"h x 7"w x 4"d  (2 views)

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Vase Form No. 3

  Ceramic vase  14.5"h x 6"w x 3.5"d  (2 views)

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Shimizu_Vase_8a.jpg (80497 bytes)\Shimizu_Vase_8c.jpg (98268 bytes)

Vase Form No. 8

  Ceramic w/ 'white clay' decoration   14"w x 4.5"d x 5"h  (2 views)

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Shimizu_Vase_6a.jpg (92927 bytes)Shimizu_Vase_6b.jpg (89990 bytes)

Shimizu_Vase_7a.jpg (94081 bytes)Shimizu_Vase_7c.jpg (92113 bytes)

Vase Form No. 6

  Ceramic w/ 'white clay' decoration   13.5"h x 5"w x 3.5"d  (2 views)

 

 

 

Vase Form No. 7

  Ceramic w/ 'white clay' decoration   14"h x 5"w x 3.5"d  (2 views)

 

 

Shimizu_Vase_27a.jpg (93953 bytes)Shimizu_Vase_27b.jpg (86800 bytes)

Vase Form No. 27

  Ceramic w/ 'white clay' decoration   13"w x 4"d x 5.5"h  (2 views)

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Shimizu_Vase_29a.jpg (67021 bytes)Shimizu_Vase_29c.jpg (68220 bytes)

Shimizu_Vase_30a.jpg (72168 bytes)Shimizu_Vase_30b.jpg (67454 bytes)

Vase Form No. 29

Ceramic w/ fine-line decoration   9.5"h x 4.5"w x 4.5"d  (2 views)

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Vase Form No. 30

  Ceramic w/ fine-line decoration   8.5"h x 3.5"w x 3"d  (2 views)

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Shimizu_Vase_31b.jpg (82472 bytes)Shimizu_Vase_31a.jpg (76596 bytes)

Shimizu_Vase_32a.jpg (74757 bytes)Shimizu_Vase_32b.jpg (76402 bytes)

Vase Form No. 31

  Ceramic w/ fine-line decoration   8.5"h x 5"w x 2.5"d  (2 views)

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Vase Form No. 32

  Ceramic w/ 'white clay' decoration   5.5"h x 6"w x 6"d  (2 views)

 

 

Shimizu_HangVase_11a.jpg (86607 bytes)Shimizu_HangVase_11b.jpg (89292 bytes)

Shimizu_HangVase_28a.jpg (100989 bytes)Shimizu_HangVase_28b.jpg (93967 bytes)

Hanging Vase No. 11

    Ceramic w/ 'white clay' decoration   9.5"h x 5.5"w x 2.5"d  (2 views)

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Hanging Vase No. 28

    Ceramic w/ 'white clay' decoration   9. 5"h x 7"w x 2.5"d  (2 views)

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Shimizu_Platter_21a.jpg (62779 bytes)Shimizu_Platter_21b.jpg (77374 bytes)

Platter Form No. 21

    Ceramic w/ 'white clay' decoration   16"l x 5.5"w x 2"d  (2 views)

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Shimizu_Platter_22a.jpg (61264 bytes)Shimizu_Platter_22b.jpg (81867 bytes)

Platter Form No. 22

    Ceramic w/ 'white clay' decoration   16"l x 5.5"w x 2"d  (2 views)

 

 

Shimizu_Platter_24a.jpg (60518 bytes)Shimizu_Platter_24b.jpg (84722 bytes)

Platter Form No. 24

    Ceramic w/ 'white clay' decoration   15.5"l x 5.5"w x 2"d  (2 views)

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Shimizu_Platter_25a.jpg (57821 bytes)Shimizu_Platter_25b.jpg (77521 bytes)

Platter Form No. 25

    Ceramic w/ 'white clay' decoration   16"l x 5.5"w x 2"d  (2 views)

 

Shows and Awards
1986  Hyogo Prefectural Art and Craft Show
1989  Governor’s Award, Hyogo Prefectural 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 Prefectural Art & Crafts Show
2002  Modern Craft Award, Japan Modern Art & Crafts Show
2004  Solo show, Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
         Kobe Club, Kobe
2006  Solo show, Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
2007  Recognition Award, Kikuchi Biennual
         Solo show, Gallery Kintetsu, Yottkaichi
         Solo show, Gallery Daimaru, Tottori
2008  Solo show, Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico