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Touching Stone Gallery   Santa Fe, USA


Yoko Terai
Elusive Beauty III
Nov. 23 - Dec. 29, 2007

See more of this artist's work:  2004 show, 2005 show,  2007 show,  2009 show

Yoko Terai   寺井 陽子

Touching Stone Gallery is privileged to host an exhibition of new work by Japanese ceramic artist Yoko Terai, noted for her graceful, sensitive, and highly original forms that have gained critical acclaims. Yoko Terai (b. 1972), considered one of the brightest talents among young contemporary Japanese ceramic artists, received her fine art degree from the Department of Ceramic of the Kyoto City University of Arts, where renowned ceramic artist Osamu Suzuki once taught. Inspired by Suzuki's ground-breaking work, Terai devoted herself to finding her personal style. Her graduation work received the Mayor of Kyoto Prize, an honor claimed by few artists of her age. After graduating in 1995, Terai sought apprenticeship under ceramist Nobuo Nojima in Uji City. Her mentor quickly recognized her talents and potential, and encouraged the young artist to pursue an independent career as a full-time artist.

Terai is fascinated by seeing beauty in things ordinary, a gift she inherited from her artist mother and architect father. She has an uncommon ability to capture such beauty with grace and sensitivity, and allow her audience to share her vision. She approaches ceramic from an artist’s angle, using clay as a means to turn her aesthetic visions into forms. Her approach is thus quite different from many other Japanese ceramists who build careers along traditional pottery styles. Not having to conform to traditions gives her complete freedom to explore and create a uniquely personal style. Shunning the traditional potter’s wheel, Terai starts every project by drawing conceptual designs, and builds each piece by hands. Functionality seems incidental in her work, even though many of her pieces can serve beautifully as vases, platters, etc. When she is satisfied with the general designs, she just set her hands free to mold the curves and surfaces into their final forms as if guided by instinct. The results are organic shapes with graceful curves that seem to flow delicately between positive and negative spaces, revealing the pure essence of forms as one’s eyes follow the lines. Her flowing forms are often simply decorated with shades of monochromatic tones, achieved by applying a thin glaze made from titanium oxide crystals. Overall, the gentle delicate forms, smooth texture and airy hues evoke a noble, unmistakably feminine sensuous feel.

Since 1997, Terai has exhibited extensively, receiving many awards. Her work was first shown in America in Touching Stone Gallery in 2004 and again in 2005. Recently, Terai introduces a stunning blue finish, a color - as she explains - evoked by the sound of hand claps in her flamenco dance practices. As if that is not surprising enough, Terai is also experimenting with new forms inspired by woodworking hand tools. She likes to visit a museum in Kobe which houses a large collection of old Japanese woodworking tools. It takes an extraordinary eye to see beauty in the well-worn shapes of iron saws, chisels and knife blades. In a recent visit, she shows off a small iron adze she keeps not for use, just for the joy of looking at it. Her new work includes a unique collection of ceramic forms which brilliantly capture the beautiful lines and textures of those tools. Setting off the shapes by judicial use of a vibrant blue glaze, she turns seemingly mundane objects into unexpected and beautiful works of art.

Part of the joy of viewing Terai's exhibitions is to see the interplay between individual showpieces and their harmonious relation with the surroundings. The current show is a perfect case in point. Despite the remarkably diverse forms, colors and textures, the showpieces somehow work together to bring out an exquisite feeling of balance and grace, a quiet testament of the extraordinary gift of this artist.

Click on images to view selected pieces
Inquiry/order:, see

YokoTerai_Vase1c.jpg (94514 bytes)YokoTerai_Vase1d.jpg (97825 bytes)
Ceramic Form #1
16.5"h x 12" x 8.5"  (2 views)

YokoTerai_Vase2d.jpg (103386 bytes)YokoTerai_Vase2a.jpg (118482 bytes)
Ceramic Form #2
11.5"h x 12" x 8.5" (2 views)

YokoTerai_Vase7c.jpg (22090 bytes)YokoTerai_Vase7a.jpg (86552 bytes)
Ceramic Form #7
11"h x 12" x 5" (2 views)
YokoTerai_Vase4b.jpg (41478 bytes)YokoTerai_Vase4a.jpg (41810 bytes)
Ceramic Form #4
 14.5"h x 5.5" x 5.5" (2 views)

YokoTerai_Vase5c.jpg (35510 bytes)YokoTerai_Vase5a.jpg (38835 bytes)
Ceramic Form #5
 9.5"h x 4" x 4" (2 views)
YokoTerai_Vase6b.jpg (55466 bytes)
Ceramic Form #6
6"h x 10" x 8"

YokoTerai_Vase8a.jpg (31711 bytes)YokoTerai_Vase8b.jpg (29438 bytes)
Ceramic Form #8
 9.5"h x 6" x 5.5" (2 views)

YokoTerai_Vase9b.jpg (27375 bytes)YokoTerai_Vase9a.jpg (28552 bytes)
Ceramic Form #9
14.5"h x 4" x 2.5" (2 views)

YokoTerai_Vase10a.jpg (29584 bytes)YokoTerai_Vase10b.jpg (31009 bytes)
Ceramic Form #10
 12.5"h x 6" x 4" (2 views)

YokoTerai_Ladle11_12a.jpg (69819 bytes)
Ceramic form  #11, #12     19.5"l, 18.5"l
Both Sold

YokoTerai_Ladle13_3a.jpg (67024 bytes)

Ceramic form  #3, #13   10"l, 13"l 
Both Sold

YokoTerai_HangVase14_15a.jpg (39972 bytes)
Ceramic Hanging Vase Forms  #14 & 15,  23"h &22"h
 Both Sold

YokoTerai_HangVase16_17a.jpg (43158 bytes)
Ceramic Hanging Vase Forms  #16 & #17,  16.5"h & 24"h
Both Sold

YokoTerai_HangVase18_19a.jpg (29791 bytes)
Ceramic Hanging Vase Forms  #18 & #19,  15.5"l  & 11"h
Both Sold
YokoTerai_Form20a.jpg (50691 bytes)
2- pc Ceramic Hanging Vase Set #20, 17.5"l
Both Sold 
YokoTerai_Vase21a.jpg (62050 bytes)YokoTerai_Vase21b.jpg (60672 bytes)
Ceramic Form #21
9" x 7" x 2"h   (Top & bottom views)

YokoTerai_Vase22a.jpg (41636 bytes)YokoTerai_Vase22b.jpg (40457 bytes)
Ceramic  Form #22
 6"h x 7.5" x 7"   (2 views)

YokoTerai_Vase23a.jpg (32003 bytes)YokoTerai_Vase23b.jpg (29979 bytes)
Ceramic Form #23
7"h x 5" x 4.5"   (2 views)

YokoTerai_Vase24a.jpg (35973 bytes)
Ceramic Form #24
 8.5"h x 4" x 4"
YokoTerai_Vase25b.jpg (34945 bytes)
Ceramic Form #25
7"h x 4" x 4"  
Terai 30ab
Ceramic Forms #29 & #30,  9"l & 7.5"l
Both Sold
YokoTerai_Plate31a.jpg (238433 bytes)
Ceramic Form  #31, 13.5"l x 2.5"
YokoTerai_Forms32_33b.jpg (138160 bytes)
Ceramic Forms #32 & #33,  6" & 5"
Both Sold
YokoTerai_Plate36_27a.jpg (234395 bytes)
Ceramic Forms #27 & #36  (2- pc set)
 9.5" x 6";     6.5" x 1"
YokoTerai_Plate34a.jpg (271131 bytes)
Ceramic Form #34,  13" x 4.5" 

YokoTerai_Plate35a.jpg (327104 bytes)
Ceramic Form #35  15" x 4"

YokoTerai_Plate37_26a.jpg (246952 bytes)
Ceramic Ceramic Forms #37/26  (2-pc set)
 9" x 6";  5.5" x 1.5"

YokoTerai_Plate38_28a.jpg (257989 bytes)
2-pc Ceramic Forms #38/28  (2-pc set)
 9" x 5.5"; 5.5" x 1"

Yoko-Terai-show-016.jpg (71521 bytes)
Yoko-Terai-show-009.jpg (63129 bytes)Yoko-Terai-show-003.jpg (46431 bytes)Yoko-Terai-show-001.jpg (17962 bytes)
1997  Solo show, Gallery Beni, Kyoto, Japan
1998  Group show, Gallery Nishikawa, Kyoto, Japan
1999  Solo show, Tor Gallery, Kobe, Japan
         Group show, Kintetsu Department store, Osaka, Japan
         Group show, Gallery Mitsuhashi, Kyoto, Japan
2000  Solo show, Gallery Utsuwa-kan, Kyoto, Japan
         Group show, Gallery Hanjun Plaza, Soel, Korea
2001  Solo show, Tor Gallery, Kobe, Japan
         Solo show, Hankyu Department Store, Kobe, Japan
2002  Solo show, Gallery Ceramika, Tokyo/Sapporo, Japan
         Solo show, Gallery Utsuwa-kan, Kyoto, Japan
         Solo show, Gallery Yamaki Bijyutsu, Osaka, Japan
2003  Group show, Meitetsu Department Store, Nagoya, Japan
         Group show, Gion Konishi, Kyoto, Japan
         Solo show, Hankyu Department Store, Osaka, Japan
         Group show, Gallery Hanare, Hyogo, Japan
2004  Solo show, Gallery Utsuwa-kan, Kyoto, Japan
         Solo show, Gallery Kukansha Shirako, Tokyo, Japan  
         Solo show, Gallery Yamaki Bijyutsu, Osaka, Japan
         Solo show, Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
2005  Solo show, Savoir Vivre, Tokyo, Japan
         Solo show, Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
2006  Solo show, Yuyusha Gallery, Kariya, Japan
         Solo show, Gallery Utsuwa-kan, Kyoto, Japan
         Solo show, Yamaki Bijyutsu, Osaka, Japan
2007  Solo show, Gallery Tiptoe, Takarazuka, Japan
         Solo show, Robaya, Niigata, Japan
         Solo show, Savoir Vivre, Tokyo, Japan
         Solo show, Seaside Gallery Kuu, Fukuoka, Japan
         Solo show, Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
1994  Selected for the Second Men-Bachi Grand Prize
1995  Mayor of Kyoto Prize  
         Excellence Award, the Second Hana-no Sumika Grand Prize
1996  Selected for the Seventh Itami Craft Exhibition
1997  Selected for the Fourth Kyoto Craft Exhibition
1998  Selected for the 1998 International Craft Exhibition, Itami
         Miura Prize, the Fourth Sake Cup Exhibition
1999  Selected for the 1999 Craft National, Sapporo
2001  Selected for the 19th Asahi Modern Craft Exhibition
         Selected for the 2001 World Craft Competition, Kanazawa