Tokyo Wild Clay Exhibition

April 13, 2024 (Sat.) – April 14, 2024 (Sun.)
GALLERY HOURS :11:00 – 19:00

Photo: Kouhei Sakaguchi


Outline of the event

Kaikai Kiki Gallery is pleased to present “Tokyo Wild Clay”, an exhibition of works by members of Tsuchitomo on April 13 and 14, 2024. 
Tsuchitomo is a group of professional and amateur ceramicists, who dig their own clay to make their ceramic works. The “Tsuchitomo no Hakaba (The Graveyard of Tsuchitomo)” exhibition held at Kaikai Kiki Gallery last August was a lively gathering of about 30 Tsuchitomo artists. This exhibition will feature works by 16 artists who have gathered under the theme of “Tokyo Wild Clay.” 

Message from the Artist

Tsuchitomo artists make pottery from clay and stones that we collect ourselves, but before we start digging the soil…

This time, our setting is Tokyo. We visit a locale, surrender ourselves to the place and wander around, synchronizing with all things that our minds and bodies can receive. That’s usually when we manage to encounter our clay.

The sound of the wind and the smell of the grass in the sunlight filtering through the leaves; simple dreams of childhood and youthful determinations; time and memory; global-scale fluctuations and unbroken history… it is the omnipotent sediment we call soil that silently embraces them all.

Once such a chance encounter has happened, like seeing a shooting star,

as a creator, all I can hope for is to enjoy the richness of that soil and produce pottery that is like a fresh plant that has spontaneously grown out of the ground.

Kanata Sisama

Photo: Suminobu Sakai

Photo: tuchinoco

Photo: Kanata Sisama

Message from Takashi Murakami

This is the second time Kaikai Kiki has been involved in a Tsuchitomo exhibition.
I participate in their projects because I highly value Naoki Wada’s personality and his standing position in the ceramics industry.

It all started with an encounter with the work of Yuji Toma, which I saw at Tonoto, a pottery art dealer in Kyoto. I then went to see an exhibition Mr. Toma was participating in called “Dai-Tsuchitomo Ten (Grand Tsuchitomo Exhibition)” at Myōmanji Temple, held right in the middle of the pandemic, and introduced myself to Mr. Toma. I also met Masaya Kondo at that time, and have held multiple exhibitions of his work since then. This led me to Naoki Wada, one of the ringleaders of Tsuchitomo, and Ryuichi Haga, who was one of his Tsuchitomo friends; I heard they were doing a two-person exhibition in Okinawa, so I flew to Okinawa.

Mr. Wada and Mr. Toma told me that one of the creative origins for both of them was the Okinawa ceramicist Seishō Kuniyoshi, and I found it very interesting that Okinawa culture seems to be at the core of one of Japanese cultures, because I saw a link to Tetsuo Kinjo, the scriptwriter of the Ultraman series.
Mr. Wada has made it his life’s work of a sort to dig up soil for his pieces in each of the 47 prefectures starting in 2023, and I believe “Tokyo Wild Clay” exhibition is one of the projects involving the people participating in this undertaking. So although it is called “Tsuchitomo”, this is mainly Mr. Wada’s project.

This time, at first the idea was to do a small exhibition at our gallery in Nakano, since not many artists were participating. However, I thought that the original idea of “Tsuchitomo” was based on a space and occasion for ceramic artists around Naoki Wada and others to gather together to exchange information through lively conversations. So I thought it might be good to have the same setup as the first Tsuchitomo exhibition in which Kaikai Kiki participated—to have everyone work and sleep in the tatami space of the Kaikai Kiki Gallery while discussing various topics in the hope that the next direction for them and what not would emerge as a result.

We hope that young potters or artists who are struggling to find their next direction will come and talk with Mr. Wada and the members of Tsuchitomo and find new solutions to their problems. So if you are an aspiring ceramicist or someone who’s uncertain about the future of pottery, please do stop by. 

Of course, the general public is welcome as well, but I think you will find almost no utilitarian ceramic works you might normally imagine in this show. Experimentally using clay from Tokyo—the reason why there are no ceramics made of Tokyo clay is because the soil here is no doubt difficult to make into ceramics—the participating artists explore and come up with tricks, mixing Tokyo clay with other, better suited clay, for instance, but there is no way around leaks and chips and other such issues. For general fans of ceramics and those who seek the beauty of utility, this is a conceptual exhibition that may be a bit difficult to approach.

Takashi Murakami

Participating Artists

※For purchase, we ask you to make your payment arrangements directly with with each of the artists.

◆Otsuki Yousei
◆Kaino Takahiko
◆Kaji Akino
◆Sakai Suminobu
◆Sakaguchi Kouhei
◆Sisama Kanata
◆ “SHUnoKAMA” with “ICHInoZI”
◆Takachi Shuhei
◆Toma Yuji
◆Touyama Sueo
◆Toda Shingo
◆Nisizawa  Itirou
◆Hirai Ryota
◆Mizutani Wataru
◆Wada Naoki

Photo: Chiaki Kasahara

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