Shiro Tsujimura: Fire and Ash

July 20, 2022 - September 30, 2022

Yoshii Gallery is pleased to present our summer exhibition Shiro Tsujimura: Fire and Ash.  This exhibition features thirty of the artist’s round jars.

Shiro Tsujimura lives and works in the mountains of Nara, Japan.  To create his pieces, he first shapes the clay and then fires it, allowing a natural ash glaze to form during this process.  As the works are fired, ash collects thickly on the shoulders of the pieces, and drips down the sides, creating spontaneous patterns of green and grey hues.

He then lets the ceramics mature, sometimes burying them on his property, covering them with vines and bamboo.  These pieces age beautifully with the passing of time, illustrating the importance Tsujimura places on working in harmony with nature.  In this exhibition, the works are displayed on a bed of moss and surrounded by grasses and branches, evoking the natural environment of Tsujimura’s home in the mountains.  The large scale of these jars calls our attention to the tensions between their sculptural form and utilitarian potential.

One of the leading ceramic artists in Japan, Shiro Tsujimura is profoundly influenced by the beauty of the earth and its ability to be transformed by fire and time.  Tsujimura has no formal artistic training and began by selling his ceramics on the streets of Japan.  Through continued practice and a steadfast commitment to his craft, he has ultimately become one of the most respected ceramic artists of his generation, with work exhibited all over the world.

His pieces are held in the permanent collections of many respected institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC, The British Museum, London, the Museum of East Asian Arts, Berlin, and Hamilton Art Gallery, Australia, among others.