Akio Niisato, Kouichi Tabata

in light-Ceramic and Drawing

May 10 - June 1, 2019
12:00 -18:00

Yutaka Kikutake Gallery is pleased to present “in light-Ceramic and Drawing,” an exhibition of works by ceramist Akio Niisato and painter Kouichi Tabata from May 10th to June 1st, 2019. This exhibition brings together works produced through different materials of ceramic and painting under the theme of "light,” and attempts to explore the relationship between light and artworks that continue to remain a compelling subject in art history.


Akio Niisato’s representative series “Luminescent” consists of highly translucent porcelain vessels adorned with countless perforations that are each filled with clear glaze before firing. The delicately crafted works appear to deviate from their contours as they receive the light, and with the lightness of their texture when handled serve to present themselves as highly unique ceramic manifestations. The exhibition features Niisato’s latest works that convey new attempts of introducing color to his “Luminescent” which until now had predominantly centered on white tones.


Kouichi Tabata presents works created by drawing on white paper with white color pencil. Tabata selects still life subjects such as flowers, empty vases, and cups as well as clouds floating in the sky as his motif, and draws them with a white color pencil while lighting the drawing paper from a certain angle. At a glance, the completed works present themselves like plain pieces of paper with nothing drawn on them, however, when lit by the light from a certain angle, allow meticulous and intricately drawn images to emerge. Tabata has so far engaged in creating works through shifting the compositional elements of his paintings in various ways, and in this series attempts explore an original way of presenting his paintings through manipulating light.


Akio Niisato was born in 1977 in the Chiba prefecture. After withdrawing from his studies at the Philosophy Department, School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Waseda University, he went on to study at the Tajimi City Ceramic and Design Center where he received his Diploma 2001. His selected awards include, the Award for New Artist, Premio Faenza 54th Edition (2005, Italy); Grand Prize, Paramita Museum Ceramic Competition (2008); Jury’s Special Award, International Ceramics Festival MINO; Incentive Award, Kikuchi Biennale (Tokyo, 2009); and Award for New Artist, MOA Mokichi Okada Award (Tokyo, 2014). He continues to receive high acclaim for his works, with participation in numerous exhibitions both in Japan and overseas including the US, Italy, and Romania. His representative work “Luminescent” consists of vessels created by making perforations in translucent white porcelain, and filling each of the holes with clear glaze before firing. The works which give the impression of emitting light in themselves are conceived through independently developing the Chinese technique of ‘hotarude,’ which enable translucent patterns to emerge when it carries the light, with their luminescent appearance likened to a firefly. In addition to this technique that attempts to explore ways of vessels that transcend contexts of the everyday, in recent years he has engaged in producing works that while rooted in tradition, give form to the natural traces that are born out of the dialogue between the materials and his own body.


Kouichi Tabata was born in 1979 in the Tochigi prefecture. He received a B.A in Intermedia Art from the Tokyo University of the Arts in 2004, where he also received an M.A. in Oil Painting in 2006. He currently lives and works in Berlin, having completed a residency with the Grant for Overseas Research supported by the Pola Art Foundation in 2011.

Tabata produces paintings that incorporate kinetic elements, and video works which have been composed under painterly constraints. Notable works include “bee” (2006), a video work created from countless images of bees that the artist had drawn until the ink of his pen ran out, and the “one way or another” series comprised of drawings and oil paintings where a single motif is depicted across two separate support mediums and then “shifted” to meet their completion. Through such “shifts” between media and the very support medium, Tabata enable the various imagery contained within the subject before ones eyes to carefully emerge. Instead of converging a single thing and its surrounding traces into one, he presents a perspective that connect to their different means of presence and movement in the context of a time and space that could have simultaneously lapsed.

Akio Niisato "spheres" 2019

Kouichi Tabata "white rose d01" 2014
white pencil on paper