Japanese Ceramics

Origin: Japan
Specialty: Functional and decorative handcrafted earthenware

Pottery and porcelain are one of Japan's oldest art forms. Here potters have the status of fine artists and their work is appreciated for their unique form, colour and technical difficulty. Brave has worked with a number of leading artists and galleries to bring a large cross-section of Japanese contemporary ceramics to the South East Asia market representing different types of objects and artistic styles. Many of these objects are functional as well as decorative, allowing you to incorporate a heightened aesthetic sense to your daily routine, just as the artists have intended. 



Takaya Fukuoka is an earthenware artist operating in Fukui. His signature style is to create paper-thin functional ceramic objects in white. The ceramic is of varying thicknesses and has several holes throughout the body, which are only bound by transparent layers of glaze on the inside and outside of the vessel. The result is a delicate yet strong object whose texture is similar to Japanese washi paper.


Asato Ikeda came from a family tradition in pottery. His family is one of the most prominent producers of tobe-yaki style ceramics operating today, with their work found throughout Japan. The family's workshop Ryusen-Gama, which has operated for over 45 years, is famous for its pale green-blue lacquer colour. While there are elements of the family heritage visible in his work, Asato Ikeda takes a more experimental and conceptual approach. The characteristic marks of his work are thick lines resembling waves which, in addition to creating a more sculptural form, also make a more ergonomic surface for the hand.


Yoshiaki Imamura is an artist from Hyogo. He is relatively young in his career, having only focused on ceramic vessel production for the last four years, although his artistic training spans a longer period. Elements of his broader artistic training are visible in his works, especially the incorporation of figurative sculptural elements as well as repeated patterns and colour variation.


Taketoshi Ito is an artist from Saitama whose work has been exhibited throughout Japan. He has produced independently for 8 years, of which seven have been while operating his own kiln. His work utilises repeating patterns though has two distinct style - one for brightly coloured objects that creates a pattern through negative space and alteration of colour and glaze, and the other for monochromatic objects that have raised patterns. 

Katase Kazuhiro is a ceramic artist from Shizuoka. After completing his studies in Okinawa, he apprenticed to master potter Shigekazu Nagae (長江 重和). Since 2008, he has operated independently in Aichi Prefecture and has won awards for his work. Kazuhiro is a prolific artist whose work straddles two styles - one has a rough and natural appearance created by using clay with a high mineral content and encouraging glaze cracking during the firing process that when combined with a bright pastel colour palette might suggest natural decay. The other style utilises clay with few impurities to achieve a smooth and even tone for objects with a dark colour palette and more somber tone.


Kazumi Kinoshita is an artist from Kyoto. After completing his studies in pottery, he has operated independently for the past 13 years. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at galleries across Japan. His typical style utilises a smooth and fine clay to create functional objects in a limited colour palette with metallic accents.


Ceramic artists Ren & Rie Uehara of Kyoto have dedicated themselves to creating high quality earthenware for sake. From their small production site in the heart of Kyoto, their work has retained a high attention to detail so that each object they create is both unique and beautiful. The reason behind their passion is deceptively simple: whether having a small drink alone after work or meeting friends for a large gathering, these moments are important and should be commemorated.


Kutani Bitouen atelier is a studio preserving the craft of traditional kutani porcelain from Ishikawa. The studio itself is 100 years old, while the kutani porcelain tradition dates back over 350 years. All steps of production are produced in-house, from crushing rocks, forming clay, firing and painting. The result is porcelain products that are not only beautiful, but an important link to the country's past. Kutani Bitouen wares have been sought by collectors from throughout the world, including the Crown Prince of Japan.


Akihiro Nikaido was born in Hokkaido and began his career in ceramics later in life. He was originally a businessman producing art on the side as a hobby. When he felt the calling to focus on his artistic work he went to Tokyo to study ceramic art and eventually founded his own studio after graduation, now more than 10 years ago. In this time, he has created a programme to help young artists gain exposure near his home in Mashiko, including planning and executing several international exchanges. His work has won awards and has been exhibited in galleries across Japan.


Kazunori Ohnaka is an artist from Yamaguchi. He has been creating ceramics for over 13 years, and has operated under his own studio and kiln for the past 9 years. He has had solo exhibitions across Japan and has won several awards for his work. He produces both decorative and functional objects with a strong sculptural form. They have a limited colour palette with occasional intense colours and often with subtle textures on their surface.


Naoto Tanii is an artist from Shigaraki. After graduating with honours from his studies, he apprenticed to master potter Hiroaki Sasayama (笹山裕昭). He has operated as part of the Yuraku-Gama kiln for the past 16 years with his brother, and continues to produce independent works under his own name as well. His work is characterised by a monochromatic colour palette in shades of white and black with metallic accents. He often creates cracking in the glaze to add depth and texture to the colour.