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Koji Takagi|高木浩二

静かな存在感を放つ、彩泥の器

◆緑に包まれたアトリエ
千葉の四街道駅から車を走らせること20分ほど。突如として現れる、緑の覆い茂った敷地を奥へ進んで行くと、平屋の古い日本家屋が建っている。鳥や虫の鳴き声しか聞こえない静寂な空間は、まるでそこだけ時間の流れが違うかのよう。この家屋の一室が、高木の作業場だ。ジャズが流れる作業場は、足の踏み場もないほど作品や陶芸の道具が溢れる。誰にも邪魔されず作品づくりに没頭できる空間は、まるで少年の秘密基地のように彼の拠り所となっていそうだ。もともと画家を志していた高木だが、芸術家としての才能に限界を感じ、学生時代は慶應大学の哲学科で芸術論を専攻する。学芸員への道を模索するも、次第に理論だけを振りかざすことに疑問を感じるようになり、改めて作り手になると心を決める。そして高校時代から親交を深めていた陶芸家の影響もあり、陶芸の道を志すことになる。

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◆破天荒な生き様に魅せられて
東京生まれ、生粋のシティボーイは、高校時代から奈良や京都に一人足繁く通っていた。その頃、ある運命的な出会いをする。奈良の路上で器を売っていた、当時はまだ駆け出しの陶芸家・辻村史朗氏だ。なぜか高木は彼に惹かれるものがあり、そのまま自宅に着いて行き一ヶ月もの間居候することになる。電気も水道も通っていない人里離れた山奥に、自らの手で家を建て、独学で陶芸を身につけた辻村氏は、都会育ちの高木にとってその生き様、言動、すべてがセンセーショナルに映ったのかもしれない。大学に進んだ後も、辻村氏との親交は続き、長期休暇のたびに自宅を訪れ、何をするでもなく居候したという。大学卒業後、辻村氏の弟子になりたいと志願したが、弟子はとらない主義の辻村氏に断られる。そこで、弟子ではなく居候という体で、自宅に置いてもらうことに。そこで陶芸の基礎を学んだ高木は、その後、古川章蔵氏に師事。独立したのちは千葉で作陶を続けている。

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◆料理を際立たせる彩泥のテクスチャー
彩泥の器は、高木を代表する作品だ。色合いの異なる土をスポンジに含ませて、ペタペタと土の表面に載せていく手法で、岩肌のような、不思議な表情を作り上げている。彩泥自体は、陶芸においてよく使われる技法だが、いわゆる顔料を使わず、自然の土だけで色調を出すのが、高木流。作品は、料理を載せた時に美味しそうに見えること、をモットーに制作している。その言葉通り、高木の作品は料理に対して主張しすぎず、主役の料理を際立たせる。それでいて、自然を感じさせるテクスチャー、無駄を削ぎ落としたモダンな佇まいは、器としての存在感も十分に、印象に残る一皿を演出する。それこそが、高木の器が国内外の名だたるホテルに採用されている所以だろう。

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<略歴>
1955 東京生まれ
慶應義塾大学 美学科卒業
奈良、京都にて修行
千葉県千葉市に築窯

Clay Applied Ware with Quiet Presence

◆Atelier surrounded by green
It is about a 20 min drive from Yotsukaido Station in Chiba. When you proceed into the greenery field, there suddenly stands a one-story traditional Japanese house. It is as if the time flows differently in that quiet area with only the sounds of birds and bugs. One of the rooms in this house is Takagi’s atelier. While the jazz music plays in the background, the room is filled with his works and tools. The room where he can focus on his production seems so essential just like a boy’s secret base. He originally dreamed to be a painter, but because he found himself feeling his limit as an artist, he majored art in the philosophy faculty at Keio University. He tried to pursue being a curator, yet he started questioning about only wielding theories and decided to pursue in becoming a creator himself. With the influence of a potter he’s known since high school, he decided to pursue a career as a potter.

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◆Enchanted by a wild living style
Born in Tokyo, a city boy frequently visited Nara and Kyoto since high school. Around that time, he had a fateful encounter. It was a potter Shiro Tsujimura who was only beginning his career then and was selling bowls on the street of Nara. Takagi somehow was very drawn to him and followed him to Tsujimura’s home where he ended up spending a month. Raised in the city, for Takagi, Tsujimura who lived in a self-built house in an isolated place in the mountain where no electricity and water are provided and who self-taught pottery was all spine-tingling including the way of his living, his language and behavior. Even after going to university, he kept in touch with Tsujimura and visited him for long holidays with no purpose. After graduating university, Takagi asked to be his apprentice, but Tsujimura declined the request because his policy was not to take an apprentice. So he asked to live with him as a lodger, not as an apprentice. There he learned the basics of pottery and studied under Shozo Furukawa. After becoming an independent, he keeps producing in Chiba.

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◆Clay applied texture that makes the food stand out
The clay applied ware are Takagi’s signature work. It uses a method of applying different colors of soil with a sponge which creates an intriguing impression like a rock’s surface. Using multi-color soil is a commonly used method; however, Takagi does not use artificial colors and only uses natural soil to apply color. The motto is to make the food look more delicious when it is placed in the bowl. Just as he says, Takagi’s work never stands out more than the food itself and enhances it. At the same time, you can feel nature-inspired texture and the modern presence of simpleness that the bowl itself has a remarkable presence with a great impression. This is why his bowls are used in many famous hotels around the world.

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1955 Born in Tokyo
Graduated from Keio University, Fine Arts
Studied in Nara and Kyoto
Opened an atelier in Chiba-shi, Chiba