KOGEI & Me

Shusaku Yamamoto / Ryosaku Yamamoto

山本周作・山本領作

Bizen ware befitting the day, fostered by brothers.

Mr. Shusaku Yamamoto and Ryosaku Yamamoto were born into a family of pottery artists of Bizen ware. Their late grandfather, Mr. Toshu Yamamoto was a human national treasure and their father, Mr. Izuru Yamamoto is the holder of Okayama Prefecture-designated important intangible cultural property. For them, pottery was as ordinary as air that it was not a subject of their interests. However, they had the chance of being involved in pottery making during their early twenties when their father held a solo exhibition in France. For that event, the brothers had worked as his assistants and gradually experienced a sense of fulfilment after having acquired the skills. Subsequently, they started training in earnest under the guidance of their father. Although both of them have established their careers as pottery artists, they forged ahead with the launch of a new brand “Izuru Seitou” in 2014. The project was started from a suggestion by Shusaku to establish their own brand with the cooperation of his brother, instead of sharing the single family kiln, in anticipation of the future of Bizen ware. Coincidentally Ryosaku had the same wish. Since then, they have conducted their own product development by making use of the techniques rooted in Bizen which was inherited from their father as well as their own sensibility and are developing new distribution channels. “We want to revive our hometown by making products that we want to buy and which appeal to our generation.” said the brothers. With great devotion, they foster the brand which fits into their own life.

兄弟ではぐくむ等身大の備前焼

祖父の山本陶秀氏は人間国宝、父は、岡山県重要無形文化財保持者の山本出氏という、備前焼作家の家系に生まれた、周作さん、領作さん兄弟。二人にとって陶芸は空気のように当たり前にあるものであり、興味の対象ではなかったという。そんな兄弟が作陶に触れたのは20代前半の頃。父、出氏がフランスで開催した個展がきっかけで、助手として作品制作に携わるようになった。技術を習得していく達成感を得た二人は、やがて父の元で本格的に修行を始めた。それぞれ作家として活動した時期もある。しかし、兄の周作さんは備前焼の将来を考え、兄弟で一つの窯を分け合うのではなく、協力して一つのブランドをつくることを提案。領作さんも同じ想いを抱いていたことから、二人は2014年に新ブランド「出製陶」を立ち上げた。父から受け継いだ備前焼の手法と、二人の感性を生かした製品開発を行い、販路開拓を行っている。「自分自身や同世代が欲しいと思う製品をつくって、備前を元気にしたい」。そう語る二人は、等身大のブランドを大切に育んでいる。

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