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Touching Stone Gallery   Santa Fe, USA


Tadashi Ito
Contemporary Japanese Ceramics
August 3 - September 5, 2007

See more of Tadashi Ito's work:  2007 show 2009 show 2011 show 2013 show
Tadashi Ito   伊藤 正

Touching Stone Gallery is privileged to host the America debut of another exceptional Japanese ceramic artist, Tadashi Ito.

Tadashi Ito was born in 1952 in Kamaishi, a quaint fishing village in Iwate Prefecture in Tohoku in northern Japan. The area is isolated from the large metropolis in central Japan by rugged mountains covered with deep cedar forests. To the east, a shoreline dotted with sandy beaches and unusual rock formations opens to the Pacific Ocean. This serene and beautiful setting has provided life-long inspirations for some of Japan's most creative artists.

Tadashi Ito studied geology in university, but he found no satisfaction in what he learned in school. At age 24, he went to India in search of the meaning of life. One hot afternoon, while traveling through the Decca Plateau, he was resting in the shadow of a temple when he noticed a young girl wearing a sari working in the field. She was tending a cow that was pulling a heavy waterwheel. The wheel turned around and around in an endless circle. Once in a while, the girl would kneel down to pick up a wild flower and admired it as if she had found the most beautiful treasure. At that moment, Ito understood what he wanted in his life. He was not to spend his life mindlessly just making a living. He wanted to live every moment sharing the incredible beauty of this world. He decided to be an artist.

In 1979, he sought training in ceramic in Mashiko, a pottery center made famous by the late mingei (folk art) master Shoji Hamada. However, Ito had no interest in mingei. As a creative artist, he was not excited about repeating what had been done, churning out the same dishes and vases, no matter how beautiful. Instead he was most inspired by the innovative work of another Mashiko genius, the late Shoji Kamoda. Unlike Hamada, who put much efforts into refining existing mingei, Kamoda strived for new ideas and innovations to open uncharted territories. In 1985, Ito returned to Iwate Prefecture where Kamoda worked in his later years. He built a kiln in the ancient town of Tono, a beautiful farming town rich in history and folklore. Besides providing an excellent clay, the quiet isolated environment freed Ito from trendy commercial influences to pursue his own artistic vision. Ten years later, Ito and his wife restored a 300-year old traditional farm house in a nearby town. He built his studio and kiln there and continued to create some of the most original works seen in contemporary Japanese ceramics.

Ito's vision is strongly influenced by nature's forms. One of his favorite pastime is to walk along the beach looking for seashells washed up by the tides. He is fascinated by the graceful lines and colors in seashells. Peering inside some of the shells half-exposed by erosion, he sometime feels he glimpses some hidden secrets of the universe, the quintessence of life. His work embodies those fleeting magical moments of wonder and inspiration.

Throughout his career, Ito has maintained a self-imposed discipline of not turning into a 'commercial artist'. He works deliberately, charting his own course, setting his own pace, producing a limited number of highly acclaimed works for no more than two or three shows a year. The current show is the first time this extraordinary artist's work is shown outside Japan.

Peering inside a shell half-exposed by erosion,
I feel I'm let into some hidden secrets of the universe,
the quintessence of life.
- Tadashi Ito

Ito_Vase_1c.jpg (153704 bytes)Ito_Vase_1a.jpg (176218 bytes)Ito_Vase_1d.jpg (164466 bytes)
Quintessence No. 1   (2004)
 Ceramic vase form   13.5"h x 14.5" x 9" (3 views)  Sold

Ito_Vase_2a.jpg (104049 bytes)Ito_Vase_2b.jpg (108106 bytes)
Quintessence No. 2   (2006)
 Ceramic vase form    5.5"h x 9.5" x 8" (2 views)  Sold

Ito_Vase_3b.jpg (73929 bytes)Ito_Vase_3c.jpg (70918 bytes) Ito_Vase_4b.jpg (63445 bytes)Ito_Vase_4c.jpg (63268 bytes)
Quintessence No. 3   (2007)
Ceramic vase form   15"h x 7" x 7" (2 views)  Sold

Quintessence No. 4   (2006)
Ceramic vase form   13"h x 8" x 6" (2 views)  Sold

Ito_Vase_5c.jpg (63700 bytes)Ito_Vase_5a.jpg (64463 bytes) Ito_Vase_6a.jpg (71425 bytes)Ito_Vase_6b.jpg (67799 bytes)
Quintessence No. 5   (2006)
Ceramic vase form   8"h x 7" x 6" (2 views)  Sold

Quintessence No. 6   (2007)
Ceramic vase form   14"h x 6" x 5" (2 views)  Sold

Ito Vase 7fIto_Vase_7a.jpg (152809 bytes)
Quintessence No. 7   (2006)
Ceramic vase form   15"h x 12" x 11" (2 views)  Sold

Ito_Vase_8a.jpg (172936 bytes)Ito_Vase_8b.jpg (167940 bytes)
Quintessence No. 8   (2007)
Ceramic vase form   9"h x 12" x 11" (2 views)  Sold

Ito_Vase_20a.jpg (82141 bytes)Ito_Vase_20c.jpg (79116 bytes)
Quintessence No. 20   (2007)
Ceramic vase form   12"h x 6.5" x 6" (2 views)  Sold

Ito_Vase_9b.jpg (56897 bytes)Ito_Vase_9a.jpg (61333 bytes) Ito_Vase_10d.jpg (61157 bytes)Ito_Vase_10a.jpg (50865 bytes)
Quintessence No. 9   (2004)
Ceramic vase form   8.5"h x 7" x 6" (2 views)  Sold

Quintessence No. 10   (2007)
 Ceramic vase form   10.5"h x 7" x 6" (2 views)  Sold

Ito_Vase_11a.jpg (176232 bytes)Ito_Vase_11b.jpg (177535 bytes)
Quintessence No. 11   (2007)
 Ceramic vase form   8"h x 10" x 9" (2 views)  Sold

Ito_Form_17c.jpg (128890 bytes)Ito_Form_17e.jpg (119595 bytes)
Quintessence No. 17   (2004)
Ceramic form    22" x 8" x 7"h (2 views)  Sold

Ito_Vase_18a.jpg (128814 bytes)Ito_Vase_18d.jpg (132634 bytes)
Quintessence No. 18   (2006)
 Ceramic vase form   6"h x 12" x 10" (2 views)  Sold

Ito_Form_19c.jpg (121490 bytes)Ito_Form_19b.jpg (137097 bytes)
Quintessence No. 19   (2005)
 Ceramic form   17" x 14" x 6"h  (2 views)  Sold

Ito_Vase_21a.jpg (126462 bytes)Ito_Vase_21d.jpg (164558 bytes)
Quintessence No. 21   (2007)
Ceramic vase form   8"h x 11" x 10" (2 views)  Sold

Ito_HangVase_12aB.jpg (86860 bytes) Ito_Vase_13ab.jpg (56364 bytes)
Quintessence No. 12A, 12B   (2007)
Hanging vases   8.5"h x 3" x 2.5" each  Both Sold  

 Quintessence No. 13A, 13B   (2007)

 5"h x 3.5" x 3" each   Both Sold





Ito_Vase_14ab.jpg (59441 bytes) Ito_Vase_16ab.jpg (71147 bytes)
 Quintessence No. 14A, 14B   (2007)
4.5"h x 3.5" x 2.5" each  Both Sold

  Quintessence No. 16A, 16B   (2007)
  4.5"h x 6" x 5" each   Both Sold

Ito_Box_15ab.jpg (101136 bytes)
 Quintessence No. 15A, 15B   (2007)
Ceramic boxes  3.5"h x 3" x 3" each    Both Sold

1990  Gallery Pusu, Tokyo
1992  Gallery Pusu, Tokyo
1994  Gallery Pusu, Tokyo
1996  Gallery Pusu, Tokyo
1997  Toukyo Gallery, Tokyo
1997  Gallery Mukyo, Tokyo
1998  Gallery Pusu, Tokyo
         Meiso Gallery, Sendai
         Toukyo Gallery, Tokyo
1999  Gallery Mukyo, Tokyo
         Toukyo Gallery, Tokyo
2000  Gallery Pusu, Tokyo
         Meiso Gallery, Sendai
         Toukyo Gallery, Tokyo
2001  Gallery Mukyo, Tokyo
         Toukyo Gallery, Tokyo
2002  Meiso Gallery, Sendai
         Gallery Pusu, Tokyo
         Toukyo Gallery, Tokyo
2003  Gallery Mukyo, Tokyo
         Toukyo Gallery, Tokyo
2004  Gallery Meguro Tougeikan, Tottkaichi
         Gallery Pusu, Tokyo
         Toukyo Gallery, Tokyo
         Meiso Gallery, Sendai
2005  Gallery Mukyo, Tokyo
2006  Tousai Gallery, Tokyo
         Toukyo Gallery, Tokyo
         Gallery Meguro Tougeikan, Tottkaichi
2007  Gallery Mukyo, Tokyo
         Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, USA