Neriage Large Plate with Line Patterns, 2016; stoneware; h. 6 1/4 × dia. 17 3/8 in. (16 × 44 cm)

Mumyōi Jar Sadogashima (佐渡島 Sado Island), 2012, stoneware with yōhen (color change by fire),
h. 9 1/2 x dia. 9 1/2 in. (24 x 24 cm)

Mumyoi Large Jar, 2012, stoneware, h. 14 x w. 15 3/4 x d. 15 1/2 in. (35.5 x 40 x 39 cm)

Neriage Large Platter with Flower Patterns, 2012, stoneware, h. 4 x dia. 17 1/4 in. (9.8 x 43.5 cm)

Mumyōi Neriage Jar with Flower Patterns, 2015, stoneware, h. 6 1/2 x dia. 6 3/4 in. (16.5 x 17 cm)

Mumyōi Neriage Square Vase with Flower Patterns, 2015, stoneware, h. 9 1/2 x w. 5 1/2 x d. 5 1/8 in. (24 x 14 x 13 cm)

ITO Sekisui V (b. 1941)

Living National Treasure (2003)

Itō Sekisui V, a 14th generation ceramic potter, was recognized for his work in mumyōi in 2003 when he was designated a Living National Treasure. Mumyōi is a reddish brown, ferric oxide clay extracted from gold mines native to Sado Island in Niigata prefecture where the artist was born. After completing ceramic studies at Kyoto Technical University, Itō returned to Sado Island to experiment with mumyōi and create his signature aesthetic: red on black. Itō is known for neriage ware characterized by delicate patterns and created by layering and patching clay of different reddish brown tones. To bring out the vibrancy of the red, Itō does not apply glazes; rather, his firing technique, yōhen, uses different flame streams inside a wood-fired kiln. The areas directly hit by the flames create a black hue.

Itō says that the creator’s destiny is to, “Bring forth what has never existed, something new and attractive.” Itō has been the recipient of many prestigious awards and continues to experiment with many techniques. In 2005, he received the Medal with Purple Ribbon and in 2011, the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, from the Emperor of Japan.

ITO Sekisui V (b. 1941) Exhibits

Selected Exhibitions

Asia Week, New York, US
SOFA Chicago, Illinois, US
Tradition Reborn: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics, Indianapolis Museum of Art, US
Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan, British Museum, London, UK

Selected Public Collection

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, US; Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, US; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, US; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Nagaoka, Japan; Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum, Japan; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan