TSUJI Kyo

Weekly Highlight: TSUJI Kyo

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The first time when I heard this voice was 1996 from Tsuji kyo, subsequently I heard it from Yuriko Matsuda, Shoko Koike, Asuka Tsuboi, Shigematsu Ayumi ...
Tsuji Kyo was one of the few pioneers who worked and excelled in this man-dominated, labor intensive ceramic making world. Though as early as 1952 She graduated from women's college of Fine art, majored in western painting. The early education opportunities opening for women were in the field of music, literature & western painting. women were trained to become modern housewives. 
As early as 1961, her ceramic works were exhibited at one of the important venues Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi department store.
Obviously, Tsuji Kyo already found her voice then, even though her voice were much suppressed, she had to change her name from Kyoko to kyo, therefore, at the competitions, her female identity won't be revealed.
She was a mother of four: two boys and two girls. In 1996 I was honored enough to pick her up from JFK Airport, and hosted a one person show for her at Dal Ichi Arts. Nineteen years later, I met with her daughter in Tsuji Kyo's old house, Tsuji Kei San, an established artist herself. I heard her mother's voice in her again. Tsuji Kyo sensei was almost grandma to me, supportive, and understanding, preparing a soaring voice for me. Over her life time, She certainly gave voice to many voiceless.
Kyo's works are primarily made of gritty Shigaraki clay, and wood fire outside of metropolitan Tokyo, Her works are functional, for daily use. All about the wholesome everyday beauty. Using gritty Shigaracki clay, Kyo's Leaf Plate suggests an archeological find of great age with ghostly linear and oval remnants in light yellow that induce a feeling of intriguing mystery. Two raised edges create increased three dimensionality of this unusual, dynamically shaped platter.
Kyo's Round Plate with Moth Design is a remarkable technical achievement. The huge moth shines with iridescent brilliance, colored in tones of copper, pale green, burnt orange, dark brown and gold. The platter is thick, extremely heavy-qualities which contrast with the shimmering colored surface.
Some of her works were ash glazed. The ash she used were from camellia bushes. The nested idea for the form of the vessels came from 'split-pepper' shaped appetizer dishes (warezansho mukozuke). This shape, together with the scarlet pattern inside, the title and the fact that this is a next of pieces, all combine to suggest an abundance of camellias in bloom. Her very own "wordless response to nature."


TSUJI Kyo 辻協 (1930-2008)

Leaf Plate
H3" x W16.2" x L22.2"
Signed: Kyo 協 at Bottom 
Wood-fired Stoneware
Early 1990's

Footed Large Bowl with Moth Design 
H4.75" x Dia15.3"
Signed: Kyo 協 at Bottom
Wood-fired Stoneware
Early 1990's

Plate with Moth Design

H1.5" x Dia21.5"

Wood-fired Stoneware
Early 1990's

Plate with Butterfly Design
H2.75" x Dia14.5"
Wood-fired Stoneware
Signed: Kyo カ at Back
1973