• What is Tosaiga ceramic painting?

    Tosaiga ceramic painting world

Tosaiga ceramic painting born from Arita Yaki

Tosaiga was born from Arita porcelain techniques.
These are the ceramic art works of Kazuhisa Kusaba, using the Arita porcelain method, and completed with his own ideas and techniques.
These works have been highly evaluated, as a result of more than 30 years of Mr. Kusaba's research.
Tosaiga ceramic paintings are made by overlaying paintings onto a white ceramic plate.
A painting is slowly completed by painting and firing it in a kiln, then another color is painted and it is fired once again, while the process is repeated about a dozen times.

The production process is a tense time that requires you to think of everything, from the precise painting on the ceramic plate in lines and colors that don't mix with oil and water, and adjusting the temperature of the kiln to how much time to let it fire.
Nevertheless, after putting it in the kiln, it is now in a world humans can't even imagine, and we "leave it to the fire." And the result is sometimes far beyond what the creator intended, and it gives off a dazzling light.
While considering the contingency of the finish to some extent, the colors produced by the glaze melting in the kiln are absolute miracles. The same colors will never be born again.

Until the pottery can be done

  • Completing the base

    Completing the base

  • First painting

    First painting

  • Second painting

    Second painting

  • Third painting

    Third painting

  • Fourth painting

    Fourth painting

  • Fifth painting

    Fifth painting

  • Sixth painting

    Sixth painting

  • Seventh painting

    Seventh painting

  • Eighth painting

    Eighth painting

  • Ninth painting

    Ninth painting

What is Tosaiga ceramic painting?

The Tosaiga painting "Fujihiten"

These Tosaiga paintings are creating on a white ceramic plate with a glaze, first painting it and then firing in a kiln. On top of that, a different color is added and it's placed in the kiln again. The paint layering and firing process is repeated more than 10 times.
What is Tosaiga ceramic painting?

A painting with the precise brushstrokes of a craftsman → Through repitition a rich texture is created for each petal.

What is Tosaiga ceramic painting?

These are painted by making full use of the fine lines created by a brush of 0.1~0.2mm hair. Pure gold is use for fine patterns and gold decoration, and everything is carefully polished in the final process.

The "Shuhari" of Tosaiga ceramic painting

In Japanese culture, there is a value in "Kata," meaning style, shape or type.
Mastering these pattern in "paths" suchs as martial arts or traditional culture is an important process of learning, however this process has another developmental pattern called "Shuhari" or "protecting, breaking, and separating" .

The first step, is to "protect" the teachings of the master (or tradition).
After mastering these patterns, you will study other styles irrespective of the teachings, and "break" the patterns you have "protected", to develop your mind and skills.
Upon going further, you reach the stage of "seperation", where you open up your own boundaries, unaware that you are "breaking" the tradition.

So then, of what significance is "Protecting, breaking, seperating" to Tosaiga ceramic paintings?
Learning the 400-year old traditions of Arita porcelain art is the stage where he was "protecting" tradition.
By envisioning and developing what is called Tosaiga ceramic art, he entered the stage where he was "breaking" those traditions.
The theme of the work was also an important time, as it was difficult to do the technical things, and many people thought the challenge was reckless and impractical.

Then, turning his attention to titanium, he succeeded in expressing colors that could turn into seven colors, by incorporating Persian lusterware, which has been lost to modern times like a shining phantom. This is where he thinks he entered the "seperation" stage, Through repeated trials of glazing and firing, Tosaiga ceramic painting became established as a truly unique art.

A Silvered Lusterware

A Silvered Lusterware

It was over 20 years until the "break" stage. And from there, it took 10 more years to reach the "separation" stage...
Learn from tradition, without letting it stop you, break it, and separate yourself from it.
A world (art) called Tosaiga ceramic painting has appeared.

"Sparkling Graze" - Freely longing for "brilliance"

From "Shuhari" to "Freedom".
Currently, I have been fascinated by "brilliance". It's not light, it's "briliiance".

If you follow a light, a shape will appear. But if you follow a shadow, a shape will also appear. Light is made up of shadows, and shadows are made up of light.
However, in the middle of a world always "moving" and always "changing", I wonder if there is meaning to the bipolar view of light and shadow.
This is because in philosophy, the Taiji (the great harmony) is supposedly non-polar, and yet it has the two-phase pair of yin and yang.

So then, what is brilliance---?

It is what comes from the conflict between light and shadow. To put it in another way, between birth and death. We are always standing "between".
It is brilliance that makes the invisible world visible, and if there is something called a "paradise", it is that brilliance.
The brilliance that emerges between life and death is the sparkle of life itself.

There is nothing that stays in one moment. Everything changes from one moment to the next. The thrills of life actually are within those changes.
Longing for brilliance, fascinated by brilliance. Then (transformation) I was in the stage of "freedom".
In Japanese, as an antonym to freedom, you are said to be inconvenienced or inabled. But with spiritual freedom, there is no such antonym. This is because the freedom of the mind is like "brilliance". Just like how we cannot seperate life from birth and death, it is our essence.

My infatuation with brilliance lead me from a stage of "separation" to a stage of "freedom".
This new work, which I have named "Sparkling Graze", expresses an essence of Tosaiga ceramic painting, which is the transformative freedom of brilliance.
This new frontier can also be called an life's awakening, or a burning desire to live.
Using some words I like, "Akogare" (Longing). I think I would like to make my heart innocent like a child's, and obediently walk the path (brilliance) that I seek.
Only chasing after each momentary sparkle.