Look deep into the material structure of this clay vessel and you can feel the unforgiving hardness of the fired stoneware Shigaraki clay, glittering softly with embedded crystals, like sand on a beach.
This sandy texture in turn suggest a softening, a yielding underfoot or a shifting with the movement of waves on the shore. Seen from a distance, the evenly scored surface and the folds in the form more closely resemble a knitted fabric than ceramic. The tactile disjuncture is startling and completely seductive.
Sakiyama Takayuki lives on the Izu Peninsula southwest of Tokyo, and in all his work he responds to the rhythms and relentlessness of the sea
and its movement.
His vessel forms are drawn from the rhythmic motion of waves. He combs the clay both inside and out.
His use of Shigaraki clay – on the most historic materials of Japan – and his very sparse use of glaze, which he mainly employs to enhance the colour of a clay body, not to obscure it, connect his work directly to Japanese cultural history and identity, yet it is entirely contemporary.
He has breathed new life into an ancient Japanese craft.