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Kazuo Yagi, The Walk of Mr Samsa, 1954, Owned by The National Museum of Art, Kyoto

Sodeisha was founded in 1948 by Kazuo Yagi, Tetsuo Kano, Hikaru Yamada, Yoshisuke Matsui, and Osamu Suzuki, and over the fifty years that they were active, they were forerunners in the world of Japanese ceramics, giving up on the pursuit of utility in ceramics while instead of carving out a new field known as “objet-yaki” which strove to achieve a new form while respecting the roots of the art.

Osamu Suzuki, Untitled work, 1954, Owned by a private collector
Hikaru Yamada, Untitled work, 1957, Owned by Gifu Prefectural Museum

Shortly after their founding, following the start of the ‘60s when Japanese ceramics began to receive interest internationally, just how did they aim to pursue the avant-garde in the world of ceramics? This exhibition at The National Museum of Art, Kyoto is a perfect chance to consider this question as it reflects on this period where avant-garde ceramics was born in Japan with a particular focus on 1973 (the 25th anniversary of Sodeisha’s founding) while also looking at other notable artists such as those from the avant-garde ceramics group Shikokai which was active at the same time as Sodeisha.

Yasuo Hayashi, Pancakes, 1971, Owned by The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama
Rikizo Kawakami, Storyteller, 1963, Owned by Gallery Hill Gate

60th Anniversary Special Exhibition: A Reflection on Sodeisha and the Era that Birthed Avant-Garde Ceramics
Dates: 19 July – 24 September, 2023 (Closed on Mondays, except for 14 August and 18 September)
Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 (Open until 20:00 on Fridays. Last admission 30 minutes before closing.)
Venue: The National Museum of Art, Kyoto

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