Born into a family with a history of pottery making that stretches back to the Japanese Momoyama Period (1573-1615), Kato Tsubusa learned the art form at a young age. Even though he was not initially interested in ceramics, he decided to pursue pottery making after travelling extensively in his youth. Upon graduating from the Tajimi City Ceramic Design Institute in 1979, Kato entered a studio where he mixed clay and worked on mass-produced pots. Within five years, Kato had built his own kiln in Tomika-cho and exhibited at the Asahi Ceramic Art Exposition. The rapid pace at which his career took off speaks to the true talent that he is.
Currently, Kato is working exclusively with clay from New Zealand. He carves his works; sometimes incorporating fragments that have resulted from the force applied to the clay during this process back into the pieces. His works manifest motion, not tranquility. Random glaze reactions in the kiln and his formative process combine in complex ways to create his contemporary works of sharpness and tension that are often inspired by the sharp jagged edges of swords or knives. The rough surfaces serve to emphasize and accent the natural flaws in clay.
Standing triangular sculpture with sloped, jagged sides, decorated with underglaze blue and blue-white overglaze
Blue and bluish white-glazed porcelain
34 x 13 x 10 1/2 inches
Asymmetrical triangular vessel with sharp, extended sides
Seihakuji (bluish white-glazed) porcelain
6 x 28 x 20 inches
Triangular standing sculpture with sharp protruding edges
Seihakuji (bluish white)-glazed porcelain
11 x 17 3/8 x 12 1/2 in.
Ribbed, diamond-shaped sculpture with torn edges and dripping seihakuji (bluish-white) glaze
Seihakuji (bluish-white)-glazed porcelain
10 1/4 x 25 5/8 x 17 in.
Triangular Heart 2001
Bluish white-glazed porcelain
35 1/2 x 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 inches