Joan B Mirviss LTD
Joan B Mirviss LTD
"I make it a habit to seek out the invisible through the visible. My teacher, Yagi Kazuo-sensei, used to say, 'Even when you look at a mountain towering before you, pay attention to the structure hidden beneath.'
Exploring that connection between the visible and invisible is one of the important pillars of my work."
Considered one of Japan's most important contemporary artists, Akiyama Yō (b. 1953) has spent a lifetime exploring the physical properties of clay. His massive sculptural works have more in common with those of contemporary sculptors in other media than by other ceramicists, though he is unconcerned with how he is labelled. Akiyama disrupts the symmetry created by a potter's wheel in startling ways: by breaking off portions to reveal interior construction, or by inverting sections to create an
His sculptures invite close inspection and intimate engagement with the surface textures carefully shaped by the artist's hands.
In 2015, Akiyama won the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Japan Ceramic Society. His works are in many important collections and museums in Japan and in the West, including: Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu; National Museum of Art, Osaka; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Ontario; Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaii; Faenza International Ceramic Museum, Italy; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. He was recently named Emeritus Professor in the ceramics department at Kyoto City University of the Arts.
1953 Born in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture
1972-78 Studied at Kyoto City University of Arts under Yagi Kazuo
1986 Became an official member of International Ceramic Academy
1986 Excellence Prize, Yagi Kazuo Competition of Contemporary Ceramics
1988 Designated Professor of Ceramics at Kyoto City University of Arts
1994 12th Kyoto Prefecture Culture Prize
1997 Japan Ceramics Society Prize
2004 Confronting Tradition: Contemporary Art from Kyoto, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA
2007 Solo exhibition at Joan B Mirviss LTD, again in 2011 and 2015
2008 21st Kyoto Municipal Award for Art and Culture
2009 Grand Prize, 17th Mokichi Okada Award, MOA Museum of Art, Atami
2011 Tension and Transition: The Clay Language of Akiyama Yō, Joan B Mirviss LTD
2015 Lifetime Achievement Award, Japan Ceramic Society
2016 Metavoids: The Ceramic Art of Yō Akiyama, Musée Tomo, Tokyo
2018 Yō Akiyama: In the Beginning Was Clay, Gallery Aqua, Kyoto City University of Arts
2019 Qatar Museums, Gallery Katara
Appointed Professor Emeritus at Kyoto City University of Arts
Works by Akiyama may be found in the collections of over forty museums in Japan, the U.S., Europe, and Australia.
"As a young artist, I felt something more fundamental, beyond human knowledge, something that goes deeper than individual preferences or thinking. I'd say it is something that I have been trying to put into forms with my own hands."