Taizo Kuroda (b. 1946) is one of the most important artists in Japanese contemporary ceramics. He began his training in Canada in the 1970s and returned to Japan in 1981, where he completed his apprenticeship under the master ceramicist Tatsuzo Shimaoka, who later became a Living National Treasure of Japan. In 1991, Kuroda built his home and studio in Futo, Izu Peninsula, in Japan. Rather than exploring unusual forms or decorative designs in his work, Kuroda found himself captivated by the beauty of the pure white porcelain of the Joseon Dynasty Korea. Around 1992, he began making high-fired, unglazed ‘yakishime’ white porcelain. These works included bowls and stands of all sizes, high-shouldered cylindrical vases and occasionally, urn-shaped vases with full, rounded shoulders. Pure white porcelain clay is notoriously difficult to produce by hand and to pull up on the potter’s wheel. Often, it is the simplest forms that are the most challenging to make. Some of Kuroda’s most distinctive works feature breaks in the surface and jagged apertures that emphasise the irregular lines of his vessels. In explanation, Kuroda states, “what I am ultimately looking for is a perfect space. I am not ready yet to make such a form however. With a wheel, it is possible to make a piece that is almost perfect, but I cannot allow myself to do that yet.”
In the last 20 years, Kuroda has devoted himself to producing white porcelain, unveiling a range of spiritual works not only in Japan, but also abroad – in New York, Basel and Seoul. His ceramics have been exhibited internationally and have attracted the attention of both artists and connoisseurs, including many important collectors and institutions.