Takahiro Kondo

Born 1958, Kyoto, Japan

Takahiro Kondo lives and works in Kyoto in what was his grandfather’s original studio in the hills of Yamashina. His grandfather, Yuzo Kondo (1902 -1985), was named a Living National Treasure in 1977 for his work in sometsuke or underglaze cobalt blue decoration. Despite his weighty heritage, Kondo did not start working in ceramics until 1986. His early ceramics followed a more traditional path, but he soon established his own independent artistic identity creating dynamic modern work, using simple slabbed forms and experimenting with other media such as metals and cast glass. His experiments with metals resulted in the creation of his unique “silver mist” glaze, for which he is now well known.

Kondo draws inspiration from the natural world, with water being a central theme. His work took on another dimension after the disaster of 3/11 when he created a series of meditative figures, the Reduction series, to call attention to the causes and consequences of the events in the Tohoku area for all of Japan.

Another important aspect of his career has been his special relationship with Scotland, where inter alia, he gained an MA Design from Edinburgh College of Art, and also learned glassmaking techniques. During this time, he first visited Orkney, and was inspired by the totemic power of the Ring of Brodgar’s standing stones, which led to the creation of his Monolith series.

Ruta Noreika, 2019

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Working in Japan

1978-1982   Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan, Faculty of Literature
1984-1985   Kyoto Prefectural Technical Institute of Ceramics, Kyoto, Japan
1985-1986   Kyoto Municipal Institute of Industrial Research, Kyoto, Japan
2002-2003   Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, MA Design and Applied Art (with support through a fellowship from the Japanese Ministry of Culture)
2018   Artist in Residence, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Canada

Takahiro Kondo has work in the following public collections:

Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums, Aberdeen
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet, Paris, France
Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, California, USA
Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, USA
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Museum of Arts and Design, New York, USA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, USA
Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA
The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Hamilton Art Gallery, Victoria, Australia
The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Museu de arte de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Chūshin Art Museum, Kyoto, Japan
Kahitsukan, Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyoto, Japan
Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art, Tochigi, Japan
Miho Museum, Kōka, Shiga, Japan
Paramita Museum, Komono, Mie, Japan
Saku Municipal Museum of Modern Art, Nagano, Japan
The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Kōka, Shiga, Japan