Nakamura Takuo

b. 1945


Set of three vases, 2009
15 x 3 3/8 x 4 1/2; 13 3/8 x 5 1/2 x 3 3/8; 15 1/8 x 2 1/2 x 2 3/4 in. each
Inv# 6286
$ 3,800

Artist Bio

Nakamura Takuo lives in Kanazawa, a culturally rich city located on the Sea of Japan. In his work, he attempts to link the traditions of three hundred year-old Kutani ware with a modern sense of form. He works in multi-layered structures revealing his understanding in both traditional and contemporary aspects of technique, form, and design.

“I was born the second son of a potter in Kanazawa in 1945. After working in the business sector for a while, I returned to the ceramic training of my youth and apprenticed with my father, Baizan II in 1981. At the beginning, I often participated in juried public exhibitions. Since 1991, I have held my own thematic solo exhibitions, hoping that the stimulating relationship between the artist and the user will continue. I consider that the true completion of any vessel is derived through the creative implementation on the part of the user.”


1945 Born in Kanazawa
1978 Studied under his father, Nakamura Baizan
1995 Studied under Aldo Rontini, at the National Faenza Ceramic Art School in Italy
2000 Commissioned art director for the permanent installations of ceramic art by the River Retreat Garaku, Toyama
2001 Commissioned supervisor for new tea houses “Mushi-an” and “Kaihou-ken” by the River Retreat Garaku, Toyama (Architect: Naito Hiroshi)
2004 In collaboration with Wedgewood, created “Japanesque” series in England
2007 Artist-in-residence at Taipei County Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taiwan
2008 Workshop at Art Biotop Niki Club, Nasu, Tochigi
Lectured at Kanazawa College of Art; Kyoto Seika University; Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu; Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo
2009 Lectured at Sogō Art Museum, Yokohama; Shizuoka Art Gallery; Hagi Uragami Museum


1993 Workshop Collection, Shigaraki Ceramic Park, Shiga

Solo exhibitions:

1986 Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Art Gallery, Tokyo
1990 Color and Shape, Ginza Wakô Craft Salon, Tokyo
1991 Giri-giri Vessels, Ginza Wakô Hall, Tokyo
1994 Welcoming Vessels (Mukaeru utsuwa), Isetan Art Gallery, Hotel New Otani, Tokyo
Confronting Vessels (Mukiau utsuwa), Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo
1996 Welcoming Vessels, Isetan Tanseikai, Hotel New Otani, Tokyo
1997 Giri-giri Winter Vessels part I, Suigyoku Gallery, Tokyo
1998 The Lonely Vessel (Hitoriaruki no utsuwa), Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo
1999 Playing with Space, Ginza Wakô Hall, Tokyo
2001 Within Lights (Akari no naka), Gallery Kandori, Tokyo
In Search of Beautiful “sabi” (Kirei-wabi o motomete), Tōsai Gallery,
2003 Slipping-away Vessels (Surinukeru utsuwa), Ginza Wakō Hall, Tokyo
Sora no aida, Tō no senkō (Between Skys, Sparks of Ceramics), Inax Tile Museum, Tokoname
2004-5 Japanesque, The House of Wedgewood, Tokyo; Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo and Nagoya
2005 Tamagawa Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo (also in 2008)
2006 Takasaki Takashimaya Art Gallery, Gunma
Nakamura Takuo meets Wedgewood, Takashimaya Art Gallery, Nagoya
2007 Vessel Not a Vessel: Floating Vessels (Fuyū suru utsuwa), Gallery Wako, Ginza, Tokyo
2008 Takuo no utsuwa, Shoku-yū-shi (Takuo’s vessel, Eat-Play-Use) Tamagawa Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo
2010 Utsuwa kara kūkan e (From Vessels to Space) Niigata Eya Gallery, Niigata
2011 Flow and Flux – Possibilities in Space, Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo
2012 Revisiting Rimpa - Design, Function and the Art of Nakamura Takuo, Joan B. Mirviss, New York
Tō, mouhitotsuno rimpa (Ceramics, Another Rimpa) Ginza Wakô Hall, Tokyo

Group exhibitions:

1990 Two-person exhibition with Sugiura Sumiko, Moon Viewing Banquet, Seibu Art Gallery, Chigasaki, Kanagawa
1992 Contemporary Kutani Ceramics Exhibition, Kôsetsu Museum of Art, Kobe
Mimupure, Ohararyū Flower Arrangement Hall, Tokyo
1994 Shokki-ten (Functional Vessels), Kandori Gallery, Tokyo (also in 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2004)
1995 The 4th Annual Non-functional Art Exhibition, Contemporary Art NIKI, Tokyo
The Now in Japanese Ceramics, Transmitting Vessels (Tōgei no genzai, hasshin suru utsuwa), Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo and Kyoto
1998 The 6th Annual Non-functional Art Exhibition, Contemporary Art NIKI, Tokyo
1999 Chaji - Niki club exhibition, Contemporary Art NIKI, Tokyo
Two-person Exhibition with Tōgo Kobayashi, Gallery Daiichi Arts, New York
Enjoying Kutani Ware, Ginza Wakô Hall, Tokyo
2000 Living with Craftart (Kurashi ni ikizuku kōgei), National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
2001 Dinnerwares (Shoku no utsuwa), Mitsukoshi Art Gallery, Tokyo (also in 2005)
I • ga • jiyū – Shūkō no en (Medicine, container, Freedom – Autumn festival), Aruigus Gallery, Tokyo
2002 Modern Life – Creativity and Tradition (Kindai no nedoko – Tsukuru koto to tsutaeru koto), Curated by Hida Toyojirō, Chief Curator, Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Masuda Studio, Tokyo
2005 Yakimono shinkankaku series, 50-nin (50 New Talents of Ceramics), Centrair Central Japan International Airport, Nagoya
2006 Recollection of Water (Mizu no kioku), Gallery Le Bain, Tokyo
Cool & Sophisticated: Contemporary Master Ceramists of Eastern Japan, Ibaraki
Ceramic Art Museum, Ibaraki
Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial 2006, Niigata prefecture
2006-2007 Jan-ken-pon no kangaekata, kachimake no nai kyōzon (Rock-paper-scissors, Game that No One Loses), International cultural exchange competition project among Korea, Taiwan and Japan, Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu
2008-2009 History of Wedgewood for 250 Years: A Design Exhibition Over One Brand’s Heritage, Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu; Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo; Sogo Museum of art, Yokohama; Shizuoka City Museum of Art; Hagi Uragami Museum, Hagi
2009 Contemporary Masters of Ceramics, Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Art Gallery, Tokyo
Mirai e no takaramono (Treasures for the Future), Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto
2010 International Triennale of Kogei, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
2011 Contemporary Kogei Art Fair, Tokyo International Forum
Collect 2011, Saatchi Gallery, London
2012 Shape of Ceramics IX, Gallery Kurimoto, Niigata
Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
2012 Japanese Ceramics from the William Bayer Collection, Robert F. Agrella Art Gallery
at Santa Rosa Junior College, CA
2013 Contemporary Kōgei Styles in Japan, Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, FL
2014 The Betsy and Robert Feinberg Collection: Japanese Ceramics for the Twenty-first Century, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore


"Vessels Hidden in the Elegant Tradition”; Fujin; August,1991

Toh: Hokuriku Potters Vol. 78; (Kyoto Shoin: Japan), 1993.

“Kanazawa-Year End Tea Party,” Fujin; December, 1996

Robert Yellin, “Refiining Loneliness,” WINDS, Vol.11. (November 1998): pp. 43-45

“Kôgei ga kûkan o umidasu toki: Nakamura Takuo no shigoto [When Decorative Arts Create a Space: the Works by Nakamura Takuo.” Chime Ginza (July August, 1999): p. 16

“Crafts that Emerge from Clay,” Hono Geijutsu, Vol.59, 1999

"Nakamura Takuo," Waraku (December 2001): pp. 104-109

Sakamoto Yoshiaki and Kita Akira, "Kanazawa: teshigoto no biishiki [Kanazawa: Aesthetics of Hand Works]," CONFORT (August, 2002): pp. 139-145

Mintz, Robert and Joan Mirviss with Betsy Feinberg. The Betsy and Robert Feinberg Collection: Japanese Ceramics for the Twenty-first Century. Exhibition Catalogue. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, 2014.

NHK Promotions Incorporated. Contemporary Kōgei Styles in Japan. Collaboration with The National Mueum of Modern Art Tokyo. October 8th, 2013- February 23rd, 2014. Exhibition Catalogue.

Selected Public Collections:

Art Institute of Chicago, IL
Garaku Retreat, Toyama
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Download Artist Biography (PDF 76 K)

Gallery Exhibitions

Joan B Mirviss LTD
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