navbar topEmail UsSite MapPhoto Tours

eStore English Homepage

Rokubee Kiyomizu VIII
Avant Garde Ceramic Artist



spacerReturn to Who's Who A to Z Menu

Jump to index of all Yellin stories for The Japan Times
Click here for
index to all
Yellin stories for
The Japan Times

What is Kyo-yaki?
See Guidebook

Go to Photo Tours Main Menu
Click here for
Photo Tours
of Japan's
Top Artists

Yellin's gallery
sells pieces from
the kilns of Japan's
finest potters


Story by Robert Yellin
 for The Japan Times: April 11, 2001

Kyoto avant-garde ceramic artist Rokubee Kiyomizu VIII (also spelled Rokubei) is having a very special exhibition at Nihonbashi Takashimaya's sixth-floor gallery until April 17, 2001. 

Piece by Rokubee Kiyomizu VIII

Piece by Rokubee Kiyomizu VIII

Works by
Rokubee Kiyomizu VIII

It's not every day that a potter of the younger generation succeeds to his family's name, yet recently I've heard of two. The first was the Mino potter Kato Shoji, who became the 14th-generation potter in his family. This involved a name change and he's now known as Kato Yasukage.

The second was Kiyomizu-sensei, who became the eighth person in his family to take the name Rokubee. Kyoto's environment supports avant-garde ceramic art like no other place in Japan. It was home to such innovative potters as Nonomura Ninsei and Kenzan in the early Edo Period, and Yagi Kazuo, the father of modern sculptural ceramics, after World War II. 

Kiyomizu traces his roots back to Meiwa 8 (1771), when the first Rokubee made Kyoyaki in the area known as Gojozaka. For more on Kyo-yaki, please see our Guidebook. Subsequent generations made all types of wares, including utsushi (copies of Korean tea bowls) and Chinese-style blue-and-white wares.

Shapes took a radical turn with Rokubee VII, who created geometric forms that echoed the atmosphere around him: rapidly changing and diversifying. His son continues on in that polyhedral vein. His works have a very Cubist sensibility: he takes a simple koro (incense burner), for example, chops it up into rectangles, squares, triangles and diamonds, and merges them to make a spectacular work. Futuristic-looking kaki in blacks and silvers, some trimmed in gold, not only challenge the viewer to re-examine what a flower vessel is, but also push forward the functional aspects of sculptural pottery. 

He'll also be showing some chawan (tea bowls) in the  exhibition.

The Japan Times: Apr. 11, 2001
(C) All  rights reserved


Copyright - Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Our Address and Contact Numbers

pot logo tiny

Home | e-Store | Who's Who | What's What | Where | Guidebook | Newsletter | About Us

Site design and maintenance by Onmark Productions