Inspired by the abundance of nature surrounding his studio in the majestic Yatsugatake Mountains in Yamanashi prefecture, Tsuruta recreates fantastic landscapes on the surface of his simple monochrome vessels. The artist successfully renders natural scenes into abstract forms in a symbolic and austere way in his works, with the gradation of monotone colors and snow- or sand-like textures. He composes images, not by painting directly with the brush, but by indirectly applying white diluted engobes in simple belt shapes onto a gray base multiple times, by the meticulous manipulation of masking tape.
Tsuruta has held solo exhibitions in Japan at venues such as the Ginza Matsuya Department Store and his works are widely collected by private collectors in the United States. In 2013, his work became part of the permanent collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University.
2013 Heritage: Japanese Works of Art by Contemporary Artists, Onishi Gallery | New York