Connecting 400 years of traditional Mikawachi (Hirado) ware to modern dining tables
Hirohiko, Hirotsune NAKAZATO (pottery) & Ikuko OISHI (table coordination) Collaboration exhibition in New York ~ Sakura ~

Period March 26 (Thu) – April 1 (Wed), 2020


This exhibition has been postponed July 23 to 29.

The Nippon Gallery at The Nippon Club is pleased to host ~Sakura~, the Collaboration exhibition by popular twin ceramic artists, Hirohiko, Hirotsune NAKAZATO, and a very popular table coordinator in New York, Ikuko Oishi, from March 26 to April 1, 2020.


Hirohiko, the older twin brother, is a ceramic painter and Hirotsune, the younger twin brother, is a turner. They perform all works by hand at their kiln, Koyorian, starting from their appreciation for the five senses. They carry on a centuries-old tradition that starts with kneading the clay by hand and throwing each ware individually before meticulously applying their brush. Producing numerous works in a short period is therefore impossible, but each piece is imbued with passion and spirit in exchange. Their aspiration is to produce wares that enrich the daily dining experience. They devote themselves every day to making works that put a smile on the faces of those who surround them.


The theme of this exhibition is cherry blossoms, commonly referred to as sakura. A variety of works displayed at the exhibition are based on the sakura motif, which holds a special place among Japanese as the national flower. Hirohiko and Hirotsune NAKAZATO have portrayed these flowers through the detailed and elegant world of porcelain with traditional Mikawauchi ware techniques that have survived more than 400 years.


Cherry blossom-inspired pieces from glass painter Koki Takehara, works from birch craftsman Kengo Yonezawa such as a tea canister made with sakura leaves and paintings from the Sato Sakura Gallery will also be displayed. Ikuko OISHI will arrange these young Japanese artists’ sakura-inspired works using both Japanese and Western styles fostered from her many years living outside Japan. She hopes that visitors feel the spring and Japan through the frame of sakura expressed in the table display.


The twins have also created numerous works with traditional patterns like flowers and kissho monyo, auspicious motifs, painting the intricate designs for which Mikawauchi wares are known on slender yet durable ceramics shaped on the potter’s wheel. They exhibit craftsmanship born from Japanese culture through unique vases, tea ceremony instruments, utensils for rituals and lidded containers.


These pieces are finished with traditional takokarakusa patterns in five colors, blending eastern and western designs, and can be used for any scene. The table setting with the scarlet takokarakusa by Ikuko was selected for the tableware arrangement contest at Tableware Festival 2020 in Tokyo this February. The table coordinate will be reproduced at the exhibition.


Inheriting the techniques and spirit of previous generations who worked the same kilns in the former domain of Hirado, they offer wares for modern lifestyles and suggest uses through table arrangements.


In this exhibition, they plan to use vessels in actual table coordination and propose how to make the dining space more enjoyable and gorgeous in modern life. We hope that more people will be able to know the splendor of Japanese ceramics and the richness of the pottery culture.


■Demonstration of wheel throwing and painting as well as learn more about how porcelain is made, Mikawachi ware’s differences from other ceramics and Japanese pottery culture and techniques.

March 28, 2020   1:00 pm
At The Nippon Gallery at The Nippon Club
Admission Free

Period:  March 26 (Thu) – April 1 (Wed), 2020

Hours:   10:00 am – 6:00 pm (Monday – Friday) 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Saturday)

Venue:   The Nippon Gallery at The Nippon Club
145 West 57th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10019

Contact:  Tel. 212-581-2223  Fax. 212-581-3332 E-mail: info@nipponclub.org

Admission Free 

(Photo: From left, Hirohiko NAKAZATO, Ikuko OISHI, Hirotsune NAKAZATO)


Hirohiko NAKAZATO           Ceramic Painter 
Born in 1975 in Shoungama, a Mikawachi ware kiln in Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan as the first born of twins. After he graduated from high School, Hirohiko started studying under Konosuke Murata in Kyoto and, upon returning home, his father Hiromatsu NAKAZATO. His vivid colors pattern, produced with minute brushwork, add spice to both dining tables and food. He makes wares that enrich the dining experience.


▼Hirotsune NAKAZATO   Turner
Born in 1975 in Shoungama, a Mikawachi ware kiln in Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan as the second born of twins. After he graduated from high School, Hirotsune started studying under his father Hiromatsu NAKAZATO and Daisuke TAZAWA. He makes the works that match the lifestyles of modern people while incorporating the traditional texture of Mikawachi ware.

▼Ikuko OISHI   Interior & Table Décor Designer
Interior & Table Décor Designer, Dining Space Planner, English Tea instructor. Lecturer certified by Japan Finger Food Association. Operating a salon approved by Food Space Project (FSPJ) and issuing an elementary diploma. President of Atelier de Ikuko New York. Awarded the prizes at the Tokyo Dome Tableware Festival special screening section in 2019 and 2020 for two consecutive years. Awarded the prize for the tableware / coordination category in 2020. Received the Special Jury Award. Instructor of The Nippon Club culture courses.


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