AKIYAMA, YO (Japanese)

IMAGES:         YÔ AKIYAMA Google Images

Metavoid 17, 2010 Ceramic 62x75x68.5cm

 Untitled MV-101, 2010 Ceramic 26x28x35cm

Metavoid 18 ceramic h: 68 x w: 84 x d: 54 cm

 Untitled MC – 109, 2010 ceramic 28×36.5x43cm








Metavoid 18 ceramic h: 68 x w: 84 x d: 54 cm













Untitled MV103 2010 Stoneware with iron filings 14 x 15 3/8x14x 5/8










  • YOU TUBE VIDEO   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvmMsqVqE0w
  • Ceramic artist Akiyama Yô  3MINUTES
  • Ceramic artist Akiyama Yô speaks about his process. Akiyama Yô was represented at SOFA NEW YORK 2007 by Joan B. Mirviss, Ltd.
  • 1953        Born in Shimonoseki city, Yamaguchi Prefecture
  • 1972        Entered Kyoto Municipal University of Arts and Music
  •                 Studied under Yagi Kazuo and started to use black clay
  • 1978        Completed postgraduate course in ceramics, Kyoto Municipal University of Arts and Music
  • 1978-81   Taught ceramics to handicapped children at Zeno, a home for disabled children
  • 1986        Became an official member of International Ceramic Academy
  • 1988        Professor Kyoto Municipal University of Arts and Music (Currently chairman of the Department of Ceramics)


AKIYAMA YO’S art stands in stark contrast to the utilitarian nature of traditional ceramics. His sculptures are rather a manifestation of the very essence of clay. Harkening back to its geologic origin, his oeuvre reflects the igneous nature of clay–– formed during its swift cooling from volcanic magma. Akiyama’s aesthetic perspective is that art is in a constant state of transformation, like the surface of the earth. Through his act of creation, he feels the energy trapped within the clay body is released.

Akiyama Yo is a Kyoto artist who stands worlds apart from colorful, traditional Kyo-yaki, in fact, all his work is black and non-functional. Non-functional in the sense it doesn’t serve a purpose at the table or tea room, yet Akiyama’s work is functional in how it challenges us to think of ceramic art and it’s place in society and our minds; that surely serves a “function.” He is an extremely important ceramic artist in Japan, and the world.

Akiyama’s work is profound in its size, conception, and forms; all created with the theme of disintegration in nature and how life returns to clay. Part of his forming process involves the use of a burner to induce cracks on the large-scale pieces. His work is primitive yet modern, rough yet refined, moody yet uplifting. It appears to have been dug out of the ground after centuries of lying dormant; it has a presence that fills ones imagination for days.

Akiyama is in the Netherlands as I write this, giving a workshop until late September at the European Ceramic Work Center (EKWC). He will also be part of a group show titled Confronting Tradition: Contemporary Art from Kyoto from September 10 to December 31, 2004, at The Smith College Museum of Art located in Northampton, Massachusetts. http://www.e-yakimono.net/html/akiyama-yo-pt-2004.html

  • Below Text by Yo Akiyama
  •  from the 2004 Athens Olympic’s Sculptural Ceramic Art Exhibition

The work titled “Oscillation” consists of a multitude of creviced layers compiled atop one another. I believe that a “crack” not only reveals something about a facade, but also conveys what is happening beneath a surface. In other words, cracks are the ulterior expression of clay’s inner nature. In each layered crack are subtle differences in character; when these personalities congregate and interact with one another, the result is a body that “oscillates.” Oscillation is the essence of energy, and is something that is passed on and conveyed.

This summer, by overcoming differences in beliefs and circumstances, the city of Athens will become the reverberating manifestation of people joining together to celebrate the joy that is life. And along with moving the hearts of many, the importance of this celebration will spread throughout the world.

I dream my “Oscillation” will resonate with Athens.