Shozo Michikawa was born on the island of Hokkaido in Japan in 1953. Today he is one of the leading Japanese ceramists. He studied at Aoyama Gakuin University. He is now based in Seto, Aichi Prefecture, a center for ceramic production since ancient times. It is an area blessed with high-quality clay and an abundance of wood fuel for firing his works. Michikawa has exhibited widely in Japan as well as China, the Philippines, Mongolia, France, New York, and London.
Michikawa absorbs endless artistic inspiration from the natural scenery ofHokkaido, his home island with its white snow, black rocks, the sea, volcanoes, deserts, and weathered trees. His works are energetic, like lava bursting from a volcano. This is no coincidence; Michikawa grew up at the foot of the Mt. Usu volcano, which is still active today. With respect to Nature as his source of inspiration, Michikawa observes that: “The energy of Nature is truly immense. No matter how much our sciences and civilization might evolve and multiply the power of human beings, it is inconsequential in the face of Nature’s typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis, and erupting volcanoes. I think this is why the works created by the natural world, for instance the patterns formed by the winds on the desert sands or a majestic cliff overlooking the ocean, contain a power that can never be matched by human hands. My own creative activities have been inspired by various phenomena in the natural world, even those humble, sometimes seemingly banal ones that can be seen in everyday life.”
The works that Michikawa will exhibit at Puls belong to two different groups: the Natural Ash and the Tanka Series. Michikawa’s pots, with their irregular shape, granular texture, and rich earthen hues are so poetic in their appearance that they have been likened to “haikus in clay.” Shozo Michikawa can quite rightfully be described as the “poet of pots.”