We were extremely sad to learn of the death this summer of the wonderful octogenarian Japanese ceramic artist Ryoji Koie. We had already been planning a show this autumn to explore his life and work and are pleased to be able to still celebrate his exceptional contribution with this now memorial show.
‘Koie’s work seems to embrace both past and present. It has many qualities we associate with traditional Japanese pottery: tactile, asymmetric, a love of natural phenomena, nevertheless it has a character which is unmistakably contemporary.’ Sebastian Blackie, Potter and Teacher.
Born in the active traditional ceramic centre of Tokoname, Japan in 1938 Koie was the radical potter, known for his spirited character and connection to the experimental avant-garde he was also an acknowledged master of traditional ceramic form. His oeuvre ranged from functional pieces such as traditional chawan (tea bowls) to abstract mixed media and large scale sculptural work: a range reflected in this exhibition.