Born: Kyushu, Japan, 1950

Died: Seattle, Washington, 2017

Akio Takamori’s figurative pottery is amoung the most distinctive in comtemporary American and Japanese cermaics. Often charaterized as a hybrid between Eastern and Western art, its fusion of Japanese graphic expression with the modern search for self-identity conveys an eroticicsm that is mischievously candid and optimistic without showing shock or embarrassement.

Takamori grew up in a small industrial town on Kyushu, the southernmost island of Japan. He studied at the Musashino Art College in Tokyo before apprenticing with a traditional folk potter producing utilitarian ware. He came to the United States in 1974, where he earned a B.F.A. under Ken Ferguson at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1976 and an M.F. A. from Alfred University in 1978. Currently, Takamori is a Professor of Art at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Artist Statement

“The vessel form has become very important to me. It provided me with a good deal of surface to paint on, also it is a dimensional form that has an inside and outside. For me the vessel has become the shape of the human body.  I have learned much from historical ceramic figures in China, Japan and the Mediterranean. They all hold so many human stories behind them . . . Physicality exists on the other side of spirituality and intelligence. Physicality could be an entrance to instinct and intuition, where we might find something beyond spirituality and intelligence.”

– Akio Takamori –