Kitamura Tsuruyo

Kitamura Tsuruyo (b. 1957)

A teacher of ceramics in the idyllic surrounds of a traditional Japanese garden and lake in the art centre of Kanazawa, Kitamura Tsuruyo has taken the traditional path of submitting works for selection to Nitten, The Japan Fine Arts Exhibition. Established in 1907 under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, this vetted exhibition is still one of the preferred paths towards recognition for some artists.

Japanese public exhibitions offer artists a rare opportunity to display their talents on a grand canvas, unrestricted by the demands of function usually associated with ceramics. Kitamura’s works are accordingly large in scale. Using an electric kiln and sandblasting the surface of the work, Kitamura has developed a textured glaze that she calls ‘shark skin’ glaze. She plays with texture and colour, and explores the infinity of horizons, both physical and metaphysical.

Kitamura Tsuruyo is a dedicated teacher not a commercial ceramic artist…her mastery is shared and disseminated. Her works have been regularly selected at Nitten and other similar vetted exhibitions in Japan since the early eighties. She has also won a number of Grand Prizes and other awards at a variety of art exhibitions all around Japan.  As the preferences of the vetting committee increasingly overshadow individuality, Kitamura’s work is conspicuous for its originality.

In searching for contemporary works of art of note and potential, Kitamura’s work was ‘discovered’ at the Kanazawa Art and Craft Exhibition some years ago. It took nearly two years to arrange an introduction to her.

Surprisingly, no-one had ever asked previously to purchase her work. Under strict conditions, Kitamura has allowed Lesley Kehoe Galleries to offer her work publicly. She will only create works for submission to the vetted shows mentioned above. She does not create work for commercial purposes. Thus her work is limited in production and not easy to acquire.

Kitamura’s work is now in several private collections in America and Hamilton Art Gallery in Victoria, she was recently featured in a ground-breaking exhibition of female ceramic artists at Smith College Gallery of Art, New Hampshire.

1957   Born in Komatsu city, Ishikawa prefecture
1980   Studied under Iida Seppu

1984   Selected 40th Kanazawa Art and Craft Exhibition and continuously thereafter
1986   Selected 14th Chunichi International Ceramic Art Exhibition
1987   Selected 15th Chunichi International Ceramic Art Exhibiton,
Exhibited Tokyo Nihonbashi Takashimaya “Geometrical Fun Vessels”
1988   Prize winner 44th Kanazawa Art and Craft Exhibition, thereafter 5 times prize winner,
Selected 44th Ishikawa Prefecture Contemporary Art Show: thereafter continuously selected
1989   Selected 28th Japan Contemporary Art and Craft Exhibition: thereafter continuously selected
Prize winner 28th Hokuriku Chunichi Art Exhibition
1990   Selected 22nd Nitten, thereafter selected 10 times
1991   Established kiln in Komatsu
1993   Grand Prize Winner 49th Ishikawa Prefecture Contemporary Art Exhibition
1997   Exhibited “Best National Artists “at Tokyo Daum Tableware,
Grand Prize Winner “Kanazawa-wan” and thereafter two more times Contemporary Art Award 36th Japan Contemporary Art and Craft Exhibition
1998   Prize Winner Public Offering Art Exhibition Kenrokuen Chakai, thereafter two more times
2001   Hokkoku Prize Winner 57th Ishikawa Prefecture Contemporary Art Exhibition, 3 x winner
2002   Ishikawa Prefecture Workers Art Show – Judge
2003   Japan Contemporary Art and Craft Exhibition – Founder Members Award.
2004   International Asian Art Fair, Lesley Kehoe Galleries, New York, 05’,06’,07’
2005   International Art & Design Fair, Lesley Kehoe Galleries, New York, 06, 07’
44th Japanese Contemporary Art & Craft Competition, Judge
61st Japanese Art Competition, Judge
2007   SOFA (sculpture, object, functional art), NY, Lesley Kehoe Galleries

Nitten Non-regular member (kaiyuu – selected over 10 times) Member Contemporary Art and Craft Association
Member Ishikawa Prefecture Ceramic Association
Member Komatsu Artists’ Association
Member Kanazawa Art and Craft Association

Kitamura Tsuruyo
Lesley Kehoe