Erskine, Hall & Coe presents its second solo exhibition of work by Yasuhisa Kohyama. The show comprises of 26 vessels of varying shapes and colours, and is open from the 4th through the 27th of February 2015.
Kohyama has played a very unique and significant role in reviving the use of the traditional Japanese 'Anagama' wood firing kiln, as he was the first potter in Shigaraki to build such a kiln since the Middle Ages. He is also a contemporary master of the ancient practice of Sueki, a method that originated in southern China and which accounts for his unglazed yet glassy surface textures.
Kohyama's work is collected internationally and exhibited widely throughout Japan and overseas. It is included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, as well as several museums throughout the Netherlands and Germany.
"The work of Kohyama…is an expression and bold bridge between the ancient techniques of Sueki and anagama firing and contemporary Japanese abstract ceramics. No glazes are used on his works; the varied surface texture, sheen and matte effects, and subtly restricted colors of each piece are achieved entirely by the potter’s hand, the clay body composition, the firing wood and the placement in relationship to the intense heat of the kiln, and the unpredictably swirling ash, all highly natural results."
Ann Albano, Executive Director, The Sculpture Center, Cleveland, Ohio, 2009
"Yasuhisa Kohyama is one of the few artists, who has been able, through his own skill and intelligence, to take that beloved Shigaraki clay and to transform it, while maintaining the high standard and spirit of this great Japaneses ceramic legacy. Now we can look again, remember the fertile ground from which this work sprung and see clay, shaped and rough-hewn into new, vibrant vessel forms."
Susan Jefferies, 2002
"Kohyama Yasuhisa works in the traditional technique, using a wood-burning kiln. Each firing takes about two weeks, one for the preparation of the kiln and one for the actual firing. Kohyama deliberately leaves the coarse pebbles in the Shigaraki clay to give texture to the surfaces. He does not throw his pieces on a wheel, but sculpts them down from large shaped blocks of clay, using steel wire to carve the sides, and giving the surfaces a unique textural quality.
Some of Kohyama's forms are reminiscent of a bird or a boat, perfectly balanced by the textured surface and subtle shading of colors in hues of brown and grey. One feels a great depth and vibrancy in his pieces and in the spirit of the artist who crafted it. Impression in Form makes a stunning addition to the growing collection of contemporary Japanese crafts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art."
Felice Fischer, Curator of East Asia and Japanese Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2002