Pottery as art ”Ceramic artist, Hideaki Suzuki”

Pottery as art
”Ceramic artist, Hideaki Suzuki”

Work born from Avant Garde art

The characteristic of the pieces created by Hideaki Suzuki is the intricate designs. The colors are a fusion of calming colors and glittering colors like gold, and is riveting. His work receives high praise in ceramic exhibitions not only in Japan but also overseas. He is a recognized artist in the ceramic world, as well as the art world.

You might say that Suzuki is a novelty in the world of pottery. He did not grow up surrounded by ceramics, he went to a university in the US and majored in sociology. All the while, he did not have any interest in ceramics. After graduation, he was at a loss for what to pursue as his profession. He spoke to his older brother who is a sculptor, and decided to become a ceramic artist.

Having decided to become one, he did not have any knowledge about the art. So he asked many people how he could become a ceramic artist, he told us. From 1991, he studied ceramics at Kutani-yaki Technology Research Center in Ishikawa Prefecture, but he just ”happened to engage in Kutani-yaki only because was accepted to that school”. While learning about pottery, he began to take interest in Avant Garde ceramics, then he went onto graduate school in America, and studied ceramics as an art form.

Creating ceramic pieces as art

In order to pay the bills, he needed to earn a living. So he made utensils for that purpose. Not only for daily use, but something that was ”interesting” and ”original” with bizarre shapes or patterns. ”But of course, they did not sell at all,” Suzuki reflected.

As part of his foundation’s activity, Nakata started a project to support traditional Japanese ”kogei”, and produced collaborative projects with craftsmen and various types of artists. After listening to this story, Suzuki shared his opinion from the artist’s perspective.
”For creators, stimulation is very important. Collaboration is a kind of stimulation. Creators tend to be reclusive and concentrate on their work, so it’s not easy to create that kind of opportunity. It’s great to have someone on the outside like you to take the initiative and provide the opportunity.”

After having a great conversation while looking at Suzuki’s work, Nakata got to try painting on pottery.
”It’s most difficult when told to paint freely.” Nakata said, holding a paintbrush in his hand, but not painting. ”Oh no. Let me show you how it’s done.” Suzuki painted on the pottery. Seeing this, Nakata started painting his plate. In a friendly environment, a small collaboration was born.


Hideaki Suzuki
Ito, Shizuoka