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TOKI MINOYAKI STORY
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Unique Minoyaki created by the artist’s inspiration
Genpoan Yasuyuki Kato
玄保庵 加藤 保幸
Profile
Genpoan
Yasuyuki Kato
1427-1 Oroshi-cho, Toki city, 〒509-5202
TEL +81-572-57-7292
http://genpoan.com/
Ichiyo Touen.
Ichiyo Touen
Engaged in the family business of overglaze decoration and becoming a potter at age 49
Oroshi-cho in Toki City is known as a production center of Tokkuri (Japanese sake server). As you walk down a narrow alley lined with houses, a traditional “Anagama” kiln (ancient pottery kiln) and chimney suddenly catch your eye. In the studio next to it, Mr. Kato Yasuyuki is working on a piece today. Kato was born in Oroshi-cho to a family that ran a Kami-e (overglaze painting) business, and he took up the family tradition quite naturally. Overglaze painting is a build to order industry. As he painted pictures on ceramics commissioned by a distributor, his passion for creating works of art began to grow. “No matter how beautifully I painted, I could never get my name on it. I wanted to create my own works as I liked” he said. The time was just before the bubble economy. At the age of 49, he started his career as an artist late in life. However, he was a beginner in all processes except painting. He worked on the clay whenever he could, alongside his daily work and went to many exhibitions on weekends to see potteries. He taught himself the techniques and opened the gallery “Genpoan” at the age of 60.
Ichiyo Touen
Creating works that blend aesthetics and overglaze painting
He reflected on what his own identity was and arrived at the technique of overglaze painting that he had been involved in for decades. He established the style of “Irodori Hananishiki,” which applies delicate overglaze painting to Minoyaki. “Irodori Hananishiki” adds decorations such as red painting and “Gosu” (a type of pattern) to unique shapes. For example, his incense burners, which are made by piling up clay strings, are so lively that they seem as if to come to life at any moment. To this, he applies an elegant “Hagi” pattern, representative of classical designs, in gold leaf, illuminating the beauty of both modernity and tradition. On the other hand, “Shimeyaki”, which is fired at high temperatures without glaze allow you to enjoy a unique unexpected texture caused by kiln changes. It is then decorated with arabesque patterns and Japanese pampas grass in gold and silver. “I don’t want to make the same thing as others, and I don’t want to mass-produce. I always want to create something new. I’m just doing what I want,” he says with a laugh. Kato’s works are so wide-ranging that it is hard to believe that they were created by the same artist. His inspiration comes from his daily 5km walks. The scents of the seasons, the shapes of clouds, the swaying trees, and the people passing by, everything he sees is a fragment of an idea.
Ichiyo Touen
Open to change, expressing things as they are
While pursuing the beauty of “Irodori Hananishiki,” he also vigorously participates in public exhibitions. At the Nitten exhibition, where he has won many prizes, he has competed with works focused on modeling. One of his works,”Kyosei” means symbiosis in Japanese and is based on the supple curves of the female body, which combines strength and femininity. In “Fuin,” which expresses lava flowing through the ground, he faithfully reproduces the roughness of the mountainside and the cracks on the earth’s surface. Unbound by conventional concepts, he remains free to explore new designs every day, translating his sketches into tangible creations. “It is not enough to just imagine things in your head. It’s best to just keep moving your hands as working in two dimension is different from 3D modeling. While molding by hand, he follows his creativity, building and destroying repeatedly. This is how powerful and lively works are born. Furthermore, his recent works at the Nitten exhibitions feature striking red colors. “Red is a vibrant color. It’s an era with many sad news, so I would be happy if people who see my works feel energized,” he says. As he ages, his perspective changes. He embraces change and projects his thoughts of the moment onto his works. In Kato’s honest and straightforward works, there is a mysterious charm that draws people in.
Ichiyo Touen
Ichiyo Touen
Paving the way for future young artists through his way of life
Genpoan serves as a café and gallery. In addition to exhibiting his own works, he also displays the works of young ceramic artists. Furthermore, he has been actively involved in exchanges with the younger generation, teaching ceramics at Gifu Prefectural Toki Koryo High School for more than 10 years. In addition, every December, the “Kiln Firing” event is held to fire up the “Anagama” kilns, for “Kamayaki”, taking turns to watch over the fire for a week and interacting with many people during that time. “During this period, it is an opportunity to meet many people. I am grateful for all the encounters.” Making a living as a ceramic artist is not an easy path. However, he does not want young people to give up on their dreams, so he is trying to pave the way forward and create a path for them to follow. Now, Mr. Kato has a new vision. He is now working on a new project, which is the culmination of “Irodori Hananishiki,” a more dynamic design that incorporates all the painting techniques he possesses. “I’m thrilled to finally be able to see the work I want to express” he says. “I think this might be my prime” he says with a carefree smile and a twinkle in his eye. He is considering holding a solo exhibition, as he still wants to test his skills. At the age of 80, he continues to confront himself and embraces change. His unpretentious works are sure to become a guidepost for future artists.
TOKI MINOYAKI STORY
玄保庵 加藤 保幸
GENPOAN
Yasuyuki Kato
一洋陶園 水野 力
ICCHIYO TOUEN
Chikara Mizuno
藤山窯 加藤 賢治
TOHZAN GAMA
Kenji Kato
陽山窯 水野 雅之
YOZAN GAMA
Masashi Mizuno
正陶苑 祐山窯 正村 祐也
SHOTOEN
Kanji & Yuya Masamura
春山製陶有限会社 加藤 雅憲
SYUNZAN SEITO
Masahiro Kato
真山窯 伊藤 浩一郎
SINZAN GAMA
Koichiro Ito
樹窯 川合 正樹
TATSUKI GAMA
Masaki Kawai
有限会社豊大窯 伊藤 仁
HOUDAI GAMA
Hitoshi Ito
快山窯 塚本 満
KAIZAN GAMA
Mitsuru Tsukamoto
有限会社丹山窯 H&Mクラフト丹羽 正廣
TANZAN GAMA H&M CRAFT
Masahiro Niwa
鈴木陶苑 鈴木 哲平
SUZUKI TOUEN
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カク仲 白石 文伸
KAKUNAKA
Shiraishi Bunshin
昭和製陶株式会社 加藤 源一郎
SHOWA SEITO
Genichiro Kato
知山窯 安藤 統
CHIZAN GAMA
Osamu Ando
丹山窯 丹羽 哲男
TANZAN GAMA
Niwa Tetsuo
Maruchu Inc. Hironao Sakai
MARUCHU
Hironao Sakai
角山製陶所 伊藤 真
KAKUYAMA SEITOJO
Makoto Ito
株式会社日本セラティ 鵜飼 研志
NIHON CERATY
Kenji Ukai
芳泉窯 有限会社カネ芳製陶所 北邑 宜丈
HOUSEN GAMA
Yoshitake Kitamura
株式会社カネセ 伊藤 洋介
KANESE
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伸光窯 金多田中製陶所 田中 一亮・久美子
SHINKOGAMA KANETA TANAKA
Kazuaki & Kumiko Tanaka
株式会社山功高木製陶 髙木 崇
YAMAKO TAKAGI POTTERY
Takashi Takagi
有限会社ヤマ亮横井製陶所 横井 亮一
YAMA RYO YOKOI POTTERY
Ryoichi Yokoi
有限会社 丸仙化学工業所 水野 寿昭
MARUSEN KAGAKU
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美濃焼おかみ塾
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LOLO
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