HIROSHI TOYOFUKU

Hiroshi Toyofuku is a ceramicist who produces his work in the Bizen area of Okayama, Japan, which has been a centre of Bizen-ware production for over a thousand years. Originally from Tokyo, Toyofuku was not interested in ceramics until after graduating from university. Borne from the desire to make something, his interest in firing a kiln with wood led him to Bizen to study ceramics. After attending the Okayama Prefectural Bizen Ceramics Center in 1998, Toyofuku studied Bizenware under Fumio Kawabata. In 2007, he established his own kiln and has been exhibiting his works annually in Japan.

Bizen Pottery is characterized by unglazed, wood-fired kilns, and firings that last more than a week. The hiyose clay, collected from Bizen, unobscured by glazes is able to convey something unique about the local soil. In this way, the material exists in its most honest state. The wood- firing process often results in unpredictable "patterns" of stripes, dots, and alternating color fields. They are stunning testaments to the wisdom of letting a material's inherent beauty reveal itself. Inspired by Japanese folk dances, Jomon-style earthenware and old Chinese bronzes, Hiroshi Toyofuku's pottery is distinguished by the marbled, stratified surface of the clay, which shows the expression of the clay as it was dug out and is a powerful and complex expression of nature. The angular forms of his pieces are intended to showcase this effectively. At first glance, it appears to be a complex series of overlapping surfaces, but it is a very simple form that is assembled with regularity. It is made by piling up string-like clay and is one of the most primitive methods.

Around 2012, he began to focus on coil-building making rather than wheel throwing as his main production method, allowing him to explore the relationship between clay and form more deeply.
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