Weekly Highlights: TAKEUCHI Kozo

Weekly Highlights: TAKEUCHI Kozo 竹内紘三(1977- )

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Takeuchi Kozo first studied ceramics as contemporary sculpture with Yanagihra Mutsuo at the Osaka University of Art, and later honed his knowledge of technique, clay, and glaze at a technical school for ceramics in Tajimi, Gifu. His time in technical school was a period of self-reflection, in which he considered his dual interests in ceramics and sculpture. Upon graduation, he set up a kiln in his parent's garage and began to create neat, clean work inspired by architecture and urban design.

With one eye on these modern influences, Takeuchi also looked to more ancient sources, in the form of architectural ruins and ancient architecture such as Mayan pyramids in Mexico. Over time he came to believe that the crumbling forms he saw in these ruins carried more power than modern, artificial systems, and began to incorporate this aesthetic into his own work. He tried to achieve these results by experimenting with several techniques, including dipping un-fired works into water to create a melted look, but as unsatisfied with the results.

One day, a large ceramic piece that was meant for an important competition fell in the kiln before the firing process. Takeuchi finished firing the piece but was devastated at his loss. 
He set the failed piece in his studio, and after several days he suddenly realized that the broken piece was interesting in its own way. His mother concurred, confirming that it was in fact better "broken" than it had been before! 
This experience led him to a new process, in which he deliberately breaks fired pieces with a hammer, creating sharp edges and planes that resemble rough mountainsides or crumbling architecture. Through these works, he expresses the aesthetics of time as it is manifested in the remains of ancient forms both natural and manmade, combining this with a unique modern sensibility.

Takeuchi was born in 1977 in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture and since 2004 has exhibited widely in Japan and beyond, including solo exhibitions at Gallery Kai, Tokyo; Keiko Gallery, Boston; Tousai, Shinbashi; Toukuo, Tokyo; niche-nichi, Ginza; Gallery Utsuwakan, Kyoto; Art Front Gallery, Tokyo; and Gallery Sou, Hokkaido. His work can be found in the collections of the Boston Museum, the MuséeCernushi, the Louis Vuitton Ginza Namikidori Shop, and the Inax Tile Museum.

TAKEUCHI Kozo 竹内紘三 (1977- )
"Modern Remains, Incus", 2014
H50.8 x W27.8 x D18.6cm, H20" x W11" x D7.3"
Signed Kozo 紘三, 2014 at the bottom