Profiles for Contemporary Ceramics

About Yuji Akimoto

After graduating from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Tokyo University of the Arts, Akimoto was involved in the planning and management of Benesse Art Site Naoshima, serving as chief curator from 1992 to 2004 and artistic director from 2004 to 2006. During his tenure, he curated a number of major exhibitions including the Art House Project, Standard and Standard 2, held both onsite and at numerous locations across Naoshima Island. Since his appointment as director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa in 2007, Akimoto has curated Kanazawa Art Platform in 2008, and Kogei Miraiha (“Art Crafting Towards the Future”) in 2012. Akimoto has also supervised the International Triennale of Kogei in Kanazawa since its inception in 2010, an exhibition and competition designed to present a new generation of craft to a global audience. Akimoto concurrently serves as director and professor of The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts, and guest professor at Joshibi University of Art and Design.


About Ryota Aoki

Famed for his prolific glaze experimentation, Ryota Aoki is a next generation Japanese ceramic maestro. His signature metallic glazes lap the surfaces and pierce the walls of decorative and functional pieces. His passion for the ceramic medium led him to form Ikeyan in 2008: a network of early-career Japanese ceramicists committed to forging a future for Japanese ceramics, and revitalising the rich traditions of their medium for a modern audience. Aoki has won international awards from the Taiwan International Ceramic Beinnale and World Ceramic Biennale, exhibits internationally, and has been the subject of several documentaries.


About Gentaro Yokoyama (Gent Ceramics)

Defined by playful exuberance and wit, Yokoyama’s work challenges the traditional image of Japanese ceramics. The formative period of Yokoyama’s ceramics training took place in the USA, after which he returned to Japan to launch his atelier, Gent Ceramics, in 2004. Also a member of Ikeyan, Yokoyama’s practice spans the now common combination of sculptural work and tableware, but extends to accessories and large-scale public sculpture.


Profiles for The Unknown Dancer in the Neighbourhood

About Suguru Yamamoto

Born in Yamanashi Prefecture in 1987, Suguru Yamamoto has attracted attention in Japan and Asia for his unique style of staging that combines projected text, photography, video, color, light, and shadow with performers, as well as his scripts that question our ethics. He has co-produced performances in Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Singapore, and his play “Girl X” won Best Play and Best Original Script awards at the Bangkok Theatre Festival in 2014. Another play, “I can’t die without being born”, was shortlisted for the 59th Kishida Kunio Drama Award in 2015.



About Wataru Kitao

Born in 1987, Wataru Kitao has been involved with the performing arts since his youth, and has experience with everything from ballet to street dance. He studied at J. F. Oberlin University under Kuniko Kisanuki and formed the dance company Baobab in 2009. With its remarkable ensemble style, the group has participated in numerous festivals as well as produced its own tours. Kitao also appears in and choreographs performances outside his work with Baobab. He received the Audience Award at the Toyota Choreography Award 2012.

(Image by Masakazu Yoshikawa)


About Yumina Kato

Yumina Kato completed her studies in film and theatre at Waseda University. While studying, she gained practical experience as an assistant manager at ST Spot, where she continued working after she graduated. In 2006, she joined Steep Slope Studio, a start-up performing arts centre offering rehearsal space, theatre venue and educational programs to artists. Kato has been working as centre director since 2010 and continues to focus on creative development programs for young artists.

(Image by Takaki Sudo)