The NY Coo Gallery will be hosting Tatsuo Saganefs & Harumi Takaifs Kyoto-style tougei (pottery) exhibition this November.
Both Sagane and Takai are from Maizuru, which is located in northern part of Kyoto prefecture. The city, which once prospered as a castle town, is known for the richness of its natural beauty, with majestic mountains in the background. It overlooks the Rias seashore of Wakasa Bay which leads into the Sea of Japan.
Sagane lives in the mountains. Pottery begins with gathering the appropriate soil from the ground. With this same soil, he enjoys growing his own wheat, and making his own buckwheat soba and tea. From the mountain, he is able to get bamboo shoots and wild mountain vegetables; allowing him to lead a self sustaining lifestyle. He even has no problem getting the four tons of firewood needed for his kiln. His life as a ceramist began when he became the pottery instructor at a welfare center for persons with disabilities in 1983. Since then, he has been given the Maizuru city Mayor Award and he has continued teaching pottery in Los Angeles while making his own art. His style is very audacious, yet it is extremely delicate. In 2008, he had his own solo exhibition in NY. To manifest his distinctive style and his appreciation towards nature, he has combined ground soil and aluminum for his art works. His exhibition in Tokyo last year depicted his unique style and it turned out to be a great success.
Takai owns a studio in the fishing town and her affection towards the ocean has had a strong influence on her work. Ever since she was little, going to the beach has been part of her daily routine. The vast endless ocean has always supported and given her strength and courage during hardships and sad times. She believes that the ocean has various expressions that are continuously changing; sometimes it is rough and violent, yet at other times, it is calm and gentle. The ocean has played such an integral part of her life and allowed her to be optimistic. Her artworks have the capability of portraying so many different expressions that it is as if they have taken on some form of life that breathes air. Takai studied pottery at Kyoto College of Art, has won awards at Nitten (Japan Fine Arts Exhibition) and Japan Kogei Art Contest and has even received the French renowned Vendome Prize at OAASIS 2008. The exhibition in NY marks her first one ever to be held in the United States.
Pottery, from their perspective, must have a therapeutic effect to them. Through their pottery works, one can see and feel their genuineness and childlike purity that shape their artworks and their beliefs.
The NY Coo Gallery is honored to have this chance to display such beautiful pure Japanese pottery works. Please come and see it for yourself.