Isezaki Jun Japanese, Living National Treasure, b. 1936

Isezaki Jun, the second son of potter Isezaki Yōzan, is one of the most renowned masters of Bizen pottery, a traditional ware that emerged nearly a thousand years ago in the Inde district of Bizen, Okayama prefecture. He is the fifth artist of Bizen pottery to be designated a Living National Treasure by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs.

Isezaki brings back the anagama traditional kiln form, that is dug into a hillside like a tunnel. Of significance in Bizen pottery production is the yakishime style glaze - glazes that are the results of natural wood ash and burn-products that occur in the kilns during the firing process. Isezaki therefore emphasizes the importance of the placement of his works inside the kiln. Even as an experienced potter, the artist cannot completely predict how the works will turn out; the firing process often brings out unexpected beauty that even the artist does not plan. The finest works are often results of the combination of careful design and fortuity. Isezaki’s works, which have bloomed from tradition, continue to emerge and expand in exciting new ways.

His works have been exhibited and collected by major museums in the world such as by the British Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


Selected Exhibitions

2014–2018 Asia Week, New York | SOFA Chicago 
2014 Contemporary Japanese Ceramics, Embassy of Japan | Washington D.C. 
2008 Solo exhibition, Museum für Angewandte Kunst | Frankfurt, Germany 
2007 Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan, British Museum | London 
2006 Beauty of Japanese Ceramics for 100 Years’ Exhibition, Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum, Japan
1997 Traditional Beauty of Bizen Pottery for 1000 years Exhibition, Musée National de Céramique, Paris, France