Kokutō (céramique noire)
Don manuel : Kawakami, Rikizō 川上力三
Rikizô Kawakami is part of the Kyōto art scene, where he has played an important role in the modernisation of Japanese ceramics. In 1964, he joined the Sôdeisha association, the renovation movement of Japanese ceramics, which emerged in the post-war period to promote avant-garde ceramics that broke with traditional forms. Like Yagi Kazuo, one of the founders of Sôdeisha, he based his work on the ancient technique of kokutô (smoke firing) used in the claddings of buildings in Kyōto, to design structures inspired by architecture. He was awarded the Yagi Kazuo Prize in 1988. Between 1989 and 1991, he produced a series titled “Stairs”, depicting ruined buildings in which only a staircase or stairs built between circular or triangular walls remain, probably evoking a link between the earthly and heavenly worlds. The pieces in this series are either “black fire” (kokutô) ceramics, or the clay is left unglazed (yakishime).
Works from the “Stairs” series are kept in Tokyo’s National Museum of Modern Art, the Seoul Museum of Art and the Portland Museum of Art (USA).