Suzuki Osamu : Image in Clay

SUZUKI Osamu 《horse》 1977
SUZUKI Osamu Horse 1977
  (photo: TAKASHIMA Kiyotoshi)
  One of the most representative potters of post-war Japan, SUZUKI Osamu (1926-2001) was born in the Gojo-zaka district of Kyoto, as the third son of the pottery wheel worker SUZUKI Ugenji, who worked for the Eiraku-kobo atelier, one of the ten craftsmen families for the House of Sen. Trained in pottery throwing techniques by his father from an early age, he decided to become a ceramic artist after World War-II, and established the avant-garde ceramist group "Sodeisha" in 1948, together with other young talented artists such as YAGI Kazuo and YAMADA Hikaru, in order to develop a new sculptural expression through ceramics. Their works did not have any practical use as containers, but pursued purely artistic quality in three-dimensional art. These works were received with astonishment by the people of the time, and were called "objet-yaki (non-functional ceramic objects)." However, SUZUKI continued to create his artworks with clay and fire, not as objects. His use of words such as "Deizo (lit., "clay statue 泥像")" or "Deisho (lit., "clay image 泥象")" in the titles of his works express his philosophy, thoughts and feelings toward his own pottery-making, and indeed might be considered as his answer to the enigma that is ceramic art.
  Created with two different techniques such as "biscuit firing" which is applied with red engobe and fresh-colored "bluish white porcelain," SUZUKI's works are represented by gentle "forms" inspired by animals such as horses and birds, and natural phenomena such as the wind and clouds, which are expressed with a sharp, creative sensitivity. His rich and unique world of art, where the forms of his works, their titles and the images they suggest to the viewers correspond with one another, has deepened year by year, incorporating with literary elements. The first, full-scale retrospective after his death, this exhibition features approximately 150 works ranging from his early pieces to unpublished works from his later years. We trace the history of SUZUKI Osamu's ceramic art, which has transformed from "pottery for use" into "pottery for viewing" and eventually became "poetry ceramics."

Exhibition dates
Friday, July 12 - Sunday, August 25, 2013
Closed on Mondays
Exception: Open on July 15 (Mon./holiday)
Closed on July 16 (Tue.)

Regular hours
9:30AM–5:00PM (admission until 4:30PM)

Evening hours (every Friday)
9:30AM-8:00PM (admission until 7:30PM)

The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc.
The Kyoto Shimbun Co., Ltd

Nozaki Insatsu Shigyo Co., LTD.

  Day of admission Advance Group (20 or more)
Adult 1,200 1,000 1,000
University students 800 600 600
High school students 400 200 200
Junior high school students
and younger

*Collection gallery is available with this ticket.
* Visitors with disability and one person accompanying them are
 admitted free of charge.(Please present certificate at the admission.)
*Advance tickets:
 Ticket Pia (P-code: 765-720)
 Lawson   (L-code: 54592)
 cnplayguide, eplus, Seven-Eleven Japan (seven code: 023-567)
 Other major ticket vendors and convenience stores
 *Advance tickets are available for a limited period only. (6/12-7/11)

Related events
Lecture: "On the Art of SUZUKI Osamu"
Lecturer: NAKAO Yui (Curator, the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto)
Date & Time: July 27 (Sat.), 2013 2:00-3:30PM
(numbered tickets distributed 11:00AM-)
Place: 1F Lecture hall
Fee: Free Admission, maximum capacity 100
in Japanese only

Lecture: "Suzuki Osamu: Poems by Clay Works"
Lecturer: OTAGAKI Makoto (Art Critic)
Date & Time: August 10 (Sat.), 2013 2:00-3:30PM
(numbered tickets distributed 11:00AM-)
Place: 1F Lecture hall
Fee: Free Admission, maximum capacity 100
in Japanese only

Publicity materials
flyer PDF(1.4MB)


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