Kakurezaki Ryiuichi is a highly celebrated contemporary ceramic artist whose exhibitions in Japan often sell out within minutes of opening. Kakurezaki was born in Nagasaki on the island of Kyushu, and now lives and works in Imbe, the ancient home of Bizen ware. He has the advantage of being viewed as an outsider in Imbe, allowing him to experiment in ways that most of the other 500 potters working there cannot. While he works within the tradition of Bizen, his work is quite aesthetically different from conventional Bizen wares. His fresh and independent vision has inspired other potters to contend with classical forms, and has already established a standard of his own.
“I do not intend to create something avant-garde in the Bizen style. My works are always functional, and I create ‘crafts’ that are indispensable for everyday life. I think it important that professional potters should create something in response to the needs of our society. My preference is to be seen as a craftsman whose work is avant-garde, rather than an avant-garde artist.”
-Honoho geijutsu, no.67. Abe Shuppan, 2001: pp. 16-17