OAP Sculpture Path 2022-2024: Masahiko Ichino and Masayuki Tsubota

2022.11.3 [thu] - 2024.4

All around us, various things characteristically different exist alongside each other. Things that seem unrelated at first glance may unexpectedly share a common world, influencing each other immediately or from far away.
The keyword for this exhibition, conceptualized by ceramic artist Masahiko Ichino, is Twist. The project is a collaboration between Ichino and sculptor Masayuki Tsubota. Both artists have drawn clues from the distinctive features, cultural contexts, and textures of their chosen materials for their artistic production. Their works, created by deciphering the essence of the materials and drawing out their characteristics, are imbued with a sense of awe towards objects of nature and human civilization. In this exhibition, the artists use clay, stone, wood, and metal, transcending their respective expertise to produce works through their shared sculptural sensibilities and techniques, almost like a chemical reaction. Walking along this “Sculpture Path,” where nature and human activity coexist, we hope that visitors will experience the symbiosis of different materials and ponder the various coincidences that shape our daily lives.


Masahiko Ichino

Masahiko Ichino inherited the tradition and spirit of the Tamba area in Hyogo prefecture while experimenting with various techniques and expressions. He has never been confined to a single style throughout his 35 years of artistic activity. In his early years of production, he created refined forms carved with delicate decorative patterns. In 1995, at the age of 34, Ichino won the grand prize at the Japan Ceramic Art Exhibition, the youngest in history at the time. From the late 1990s, Ichino pursued a more natural and free form that focused on the shape and texture of the clay. He began to produce works combining forms of traditional Tamba ash glaze and akadobe, an engobe that gives off a reddish-brown color. In recent years, he has favored using clay with a high level of impurities. He has been taking delight in the unexpected natural phenomena of the clay during the firing process, such as cracks and protuberances, creating forms in which handcraft and the laws of nature are in harmony. Ichino creates tenderly, listening to the breath of the earth; his works have vitality and are also filled with a sense of humor and endearment.

Masayuki Tsubota

Masayuki Tsubota creates sculptures that combine modernism and the warmth of handcraft. His works evoke themes of his innate ability to engage in dialogue with the fundamental things inside us. Tsubota is deeply interested in the sensory changes brought about by the combination of form, color, and texture. One of his series is based on materials humans have used for centuries, such as wood, stone, metal, and pigments, in which he uses a combination of color, form, and shade to create the perception of "vibration." Another series depicts "wind" with textures that skillfully harmonize the strengths and weaknesses of the carving process. These unique forms stimulate the viewer's physical senses. Not only does he create sculptures that connect people to nature, but he is also involved in curation, staging the relationship between space and artworks.


Masahiko Ichino, Masayuki Tsubota