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Akiyama Yō 秋山 陽

Photography by Fukunaga Kazuo

Photography by Fukunaga Kazuo

Akiyama Yō - Artists - Joan B Mirviss LTD | Japanese Fine Art | Japanese Ceramics

Born 1953, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan

Considered one of Japan's most important contemporary artists, AKIYAMA YŌ has spent a lifetime exploring the physical properties of clay as a material. His massive sculptural works have more in common with those of contemporary sculptors in other media than by other ceramicists, though he is unconcerned with how he is labeled. Akiyama disrupts the symmetry created by a potter's wheel in startling ways: by breaking off portions to reveal interior construction, or by inverting sections to create internal tension. Akiyama's sculptures invite close inspection and intimate engagement with the surface textures carefully shaped by the artist's hands.

"I make it a habit to seek out the 'invisible' through the 'visible'. This is something I’ve learned from various experiences throughout my life. My teacher, Yagi Kazuo-sensei, used to say, 'Even when you look at a mountain towering before you, pay attention to the structure hidden beneath its outer appearance.'"


Akiyama Yō - Artists - Joan B Mirviss LTD | Japanese Fine Art | Japanese Ceramics

In 2015, Akiyama won the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Japan Ceramic Society.

His works are in many important collections and museums in Japan and in the West, including:
Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu
National Museum of Art, Osaka
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Ontario, Canada
Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaii
Faenza International Ceramic Museum, Italy
Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

He is Professor Emeritus and former chairman of the ceramics department at the prestigious Kyoto City University of the Arts. 

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