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Touching Stone Gallery   Santa Fe, USA


Keiichi Shimizu
Crossing the Line
June 11 - July 7, 2004

See more of this artist's work: 2004 show, 2006 show, 2008 show, 2012 show, 2013 show
Keiichi Shimizu Ceramic Show 

Keiichi Shimizu  清水圭一

Nestled in a beautiful valley along the Shitodani River among towering mountains northwest of Kyoto is the picturesque village Tachikui, the historic center of Tanba pottery. The rich ferrous soil in this area has supported generations of farmers and artisans since the early Kamakura period (1180-1230). The oldest existing nobori-gama (climbing kiln) in Japan is found here. This serene unpretentious locale is home of some of the most beautiful ceramics that have influenced aesthetic development in Japan and the western world. Famed British ceramist Bernard Leach was a frequent guest in this village.

Against this historic backdrop, contemporary potters in this area continue the rich heritage of Tanba pottery, drawing on their long traditions while pursuing a variety of individual styles. Our featured artist, Keiichi Shimizu, is one of the most innovative among the contemporary Tanba ceramists.

Keiichi Shimizu, a 4th-generation potter, was born in 1962 in Tanba Tachikui. Following the footsteps of his father, a respected potter in the Tanba tradition, he went to Kyoto to study pottery at Kyoto City Vocational School. After graduation in 1984, he launched his highly productive career in his home town as an independent artist. 

Shimizu explores three-dimensional interplay of lines, surfaces, colors and textures through ceramic. His works show a strong minimalist influence, with clean lines and taut surfaces. The deceptively simple forms belie great conceptual sophistication and meticulous attention to details, an exciting marriage between creative visions and Tanba heritage. To achieve his artistic visions, Shimizu does not shy away from new techniques, and he uses both gas kiln and traditional wood-firing. While most other traditional Tanba potters focus on wheel-thrown vases, Shimizu develops much of his works on forms dominated by slab-built surfaces. In the past several years, he has been working to integrate a traditional ‘white’ Tanba clay with natural ash glaze into a uniquely personal style. The current show features some of the finest examples of his works, which appear to strike a delicate balance between traditional Japanese aesthetic harmony and dynamic tension in form.


Click on images to view selected pieces

Tension3_Wa.jpg (79171 bytes)Tension3_Wc.jpg (71929 bytes)
"In-Tension No. 3"  Ceramic mizusashi
7"H x 8.5" x 6.5" (2 views)

Tension2_Wa.jpg (54526 bytes)Tension2_Wb.jpg (63362 bytes) Tension4_Wa.jpg (56298 bytes)Tension4_Wb.jpg (48245 bytes)
"In-Tension No. 2" Ceramic vase  
 13"H x 5.5" x 3.5" (2 views)

"In-Tension No. 4" Ceramic vase
   14.5"H x 5.5" x 3.5" (2 views)

CrossingLine1_Wa.jpg (108770 bytes)CrossingLine1_Wb.jpg (60356 bytes) Tension16_Wa.jpg (57716 bytes)Tension16_Wb.jpg (55122 bytes)
"Crossing the Line No. 1"  Ceramic incense burner
7.5"H x 4.5" x 4.5" (2 views)

"In-Tension No. 16" Ceramic vase
10"H x 3.75" x 2" (2 views)

CrossingLine6_Wb.jpg (54617 bytes)CrossingLine6_Wa.jpg (57530 bytes) CrossingLine3_Wc.jpg (59274 bytes)CrossingLine3_Wb.jpg (55621 bytes)
"Crossing the Line No. 6" Ceramic vase
11.5"H x 5.5" x 5.5" (2 views)

"Crossing the Line No. 3"  Ceramic vase
10.5"H x 4.5" x 4.5" (2 views)

CrossingLine5_Wb.jpg (52271 bytes)CrossingLine5_Wa.jpg (57128 bytes)
"In-Tension No. 5"  Ceramic vase
6.5"H x 16" x 4.5" (2 views)

CrossingLine7_Wa.jpg (64483 bytes)CrossingLine7_Wb.jpg (69803 bytes)
CrossingLine8_Wa.jpg (69783 bytes)
"In-Tension No. 7"  Ceramic vase
5.5"H x 12" x 3.5" (2 views)

 "In-Tension No. 8"  Ceramic vase 
4.5"H x 10" x 3" (2 views)

CrossingLine4_Wa.jpg (71432 bytes)CrossingLine4_Wc.jpg (77919 bytes)
"Crossing the Line No. 4" Ceramic vase
6.5"H x 5.5" x 5" (2 views)

CrossingLine9_Wa.jpg (43859 bytes)CrossingLine9_Wb.jpg (45365 bytes) CrossingLine10_Wa.jpg (59350 bytes)CrossingLine10_Wb.jpg (48123 bytes)
"Crossing the Line No. 9"  Ceramic vase
9"H x 4.5" x 4.5" (2 views)

"Crossing the Line No. 10"  Ceramic vase
8"H x 5.5" x 5.5" (2 views)

CrossingLine11_Wa.jpg (64715 bytes)CrossingLine11_Wb.jpg (66535 bytes) CrossingLine12_Wa.jpg (71375 bytes)CrossingLine12_Wb.jpg (64086 bytes)
"Crossing the Line No. 11"  Ceramic vase
7.5"H x 6.5" x 6.5" (2 views)

"Crossing the Line No. 12"  Ceramic vase
   5"H x 6.5" x 6.5" (2 views)

CrossingLine17_Wa.jpg (66524 bytes)CrossingLine17_Wb.jpg (58739 bytes) CrossingLine2_Wa.jpg (59042 bytes)CrossingLine2_Lb.jpg (52787 bytes)
"Crossing the Line No. 17"  Ceramic vase
7.5"H x 3.5" x 3.5" (2 views)

"Crossing the Line No. 2"  Ceramic vase
5"H x 6" x 6" (2 views)

IncenseCase5_Wa.jpg (35697 bytes) IncenseCase6_Wa.jpg (46092 bytes)
"Incense case No. 5"
3"H x 2.5" x 2"

"Incense case No. 6"
3.5"H x 2" x 2"

HangingVase18_Wa.jpg (21730 bytes) HangingVase19_Wa.jpg (35388 bytes) HangingVase20_Wa.jpg (24448 bytes) HangingVase21_Wa.jpg (31606 bytes)
"Hanging vase No. 18"
16"H x 3" x 2"

"Hanging vase No. 19"
11.5"H x 4" x 2"

"Hanging vase No. 20"
 11.5"H x 2.5" x 2"

"Hanging vase No. 21"
11"H x 4.5" x 2.5"

Exhibitions & Awards
1986   Hyogo Prefectural Art and Craft Show
1989   Governor’s Award, Hyogo Prefectural Art and Craft Show
1991, 92   Japan Modern Art and Craft Show
1992   Solo show, Gallery Totosho, Osaka
1993, 95   Kinki Division Award, Japan Modern Art and Craft Show
1993, 95, 99   Japan Craft Show 1994 Recognition Award, Saga Daikakuji Flower & Ceramics Show
1994   Asahi Craft Show
1994 - 97   NITTEN Show
1994   Yaki-Shime-ten open competition
1995   Solo show, Gallery Ogawa, Kyoto
1995   Director’s Award, Kyoto Chamber of Commerce
1995   Daikakuji Award, Daikakuji Flower and Ceramics Show
1996   Solo show, Gallery Kobe Daimaru, Kobe
1996   Osaka Mayor’s Award, Osaka Craft Show
1997   Solo show, Gallery Osaka Mitsukoshi, Osaka
1997   Recognition Award, Cha-no-yu Show, Tanabe Museum
1998   Solo show, Gallery Kobe Daimaru, Kobe
1998   Recognition Award, Cha-no-yu Show, Tanabe Museum
1999   Solo show, Gallery Kobe Daimaru, Kobe
2000   2-person show, Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, USA
2001   Grand Prize for Hyogo Prefectural Art & Crafts Show
2002   Modern Craft Award, Japan Modern Art & Crafts Show