Satoru Hoshino: Black Horse in the Dark ― Primordial Perception

2015. 10. 6 [tue] – 10.31 [sat] 11:00 -19:00 (Saturdays 11:00 -17:00) Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Coming this October, ARTCOURT Gallery will present the solo exhibition of Satoru Hoshino, a ceramic-based artist active both in Japan and abroad. This exhibition will focus in particular on large-scale installations with smoked earthenware. Satoru Hoshino was originally accepted into the group Sōdeisha (a representative group of avant-garde ceramists in post-war Japan) by core member Kazuo Yagi, and participated as a member artist between 1974 and 1980.

“Being a member of Sōdeisha for six years was like being at art school for me. I learned a variety of things,” he recalls.
In 1979, Hoshino’s work Surface Strata & Depth II won the Minister of Education Prize at the 5th Japan Ceramic Art Exhibition, and since then he has been widely recognized in the field of contemporary ceramics. In 1986, torrential rain caused a landslide where he was living, and the whole length of his studio, including half his home, was buried beneath the mud. Coming in contact with this devastating force of nature, Hoshino began to express in forms that could be described as embodying a sense of touch, “with an attitude that witnesses the genesis of a new figure, without holding on to any desire to preconceive forms.”

His new philosophy of making art was refined through the experience aforementioned, and evolved into a form that not only simply approached clay as a material of ceramics but physically intermediated in the process of creation. With the use of smoked earthenware in his works, Hoshino’s finished artworks are black in color.

“One of black’s characteristics is that it absorbs light. Humans see things with light, and our eyes are also absorbed in black; you could say that black is a color with a magnetic force. With Surface Strata & Depth and Appeared Figure I used black smoked earthenware. In Surface Strata & Depth for instance, the clay encourages the viewer’s eyes to try to see inside the piece or at deeper levels; with Appeared Figure I chose the black smoked earthenware to construct a genesis of a new figure (or order) born from chaos, which was like constructing the darkness of a black hole.”

(*Excerpt from the exhibition catalogue “Satoru Hoshino”, published by The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga, 2002)

Hoshino has just been in the spotlight at Dominique Lévy Gallery in New York, in a two-person exhibition entitled “Body and Matter” with Kazuo Shiraga, which ran from the end of January to April, 2015. The title clearly expresses the commonality between these two artists, focusing on the creative agency of using their own bodies. Hoshino has adopted a primitive method, or technique, of pressing a lump of clay with his fingers and the palm of his hand, which leaves traces of physical actions. Shiraga creates his work by placing paint on a canvas and (in substitution for a paintbrush) spreading it around with his bare feet while dangling from a rope hanging from the ceiling. Eventually, his tactile traces form the external appearance of the work. The exhibition in New York explored new aspects of possibilities in Hoshino’s creations with a growing extent towards a wider view of contemporary art surrounding the genre of ceramics.

For the first time in a decade in Japan and also the up-and-coming solo exhibition in our gallery, Hoshino will attempt large-scale installations. We hope this exhibition will broaden the new horizons of his creations.


  • Satoru Hoshino: Black Horse in the Dark ― Primordial Perception

Related events

  • Saturday, October 10, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
    ◆Artist talk and Reception◆
    Artist talk: Satoru Hoshino and Makiko Sakamoto-Martel (The Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo)
  • Saturday, October 10, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

  • *RSVP required for Artist Talk. Please email to or call 06-6354-5444.
    Talk and Reception are free of charge.
  • Saturday, 10 October, 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
    **Another solo exhibition will be held during the same period. More information follows:
    ・ Exhibition title: Jun Nishida Solo Exhibition
    ・ Related Talk Event: “Jun Nishida’s Existence” with Makiko Sakamoto-Martel (The Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo) /


Satoru Hoshino