Kodai Ujiie -Skin-

War and the tragedy that occurred during the Upper House election campaign…recently the news has been full of events that run contrary to my desire for peace.
We are currently living through unsettling times and even though I search for some significance within my pursuit of pottery, I am unable to discover an answer.
Perhaps my work is not linked directly to peace. However, I feel a slight sense of encouragement, even if only in my immediate surroundings.
I hope that if each of us aims to do their work as well as possible, we will move in the right direction and this will create a growing chain reaction.
I can only live my life to the full.
I am holding my second exhibition at Ginza Ippodo Gallery.
Ever since my first solo exhibition there, when I was in the last year of my twenties, I have continued to collaborate with Ippodo to try and spread a knowledge of my work, undergoing various experiences, and I hope that this exhibition will represent the culmination of my work to date.

Kodai Ujiie

The Texture of the Glaze—Skin The first time I saw the works of Kodai Ujiie I was stunned by their unrestrained shapes and freshness of expression, their forms, fun appearance and artistic sense taking me by surprise.
Born in Sendai, he experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 and he has also been hard of hearing in his left ear since childhood, these two factors leading him to think deeply about life and death.
His ceramics are characterized by a thick coating of celadon glaze, containing numerous cracks that he fills with red or green urushi lacquer in an innovative technique he calls ‘urushi kan nyū sai.’
Resembling the veins and arteries of a living creature they imbue the works with an impression of vitality.
His tea bowls and jars transcend the confines of the craft field and possess a powerful artistic feel.
Ceramics are generally categorized according to the type of clay or glaze used, combined with the shape, and type of expression employed and I find the texture of the glaze, or ‘skin,’ of the works by contemporary potters to be very interesting.
The outer skin of animals or plants varies considerably depending on the climate or environment in which they live.

In January of this year Ujiie left the peaceful Tohoku area, where he lived with his family, to move to Tajimi in Gifu Prefecture, famous as the Mecca of Japanese ceramics where talented artists congregate to compete for recognition.
It will be interesting to see how his works will change in this new environment.