Koji Hatakeyama

(Japan 1956 – )

Six faces

Not on display
Further information

Koji Hatakeyama was born in Takaoka city, a place historically associated with the daimyo (lord) Maeda Toshinaga (1562-1614). Maeda was a major patron and great supporter of bronzes, ceramics and lacquer during the early Edo period (1603–1868) and it was he who directed seven bronze casters to go to the city in 1609 and 1611. The bronze industry has existed there for over 400 years and today it produces ninety per cent of the religious and secular casting produced in Japan.

Hatakeyama uses traditional techniques to produce bronze vessels. The earthy tones on the exterior surface of the shaped vessel creates abstract landscapes. The work is produced on bronze with miso paste and vinegar while gold and silver foil are used to line the interior. His works are contemporary but follow the form of the functional containers or boxes traditionally used in formal tea ceremonies or for storing incense. The idea of yo no bi, ‘beauty of function’, permeates Hatakeyama’s pieces.

Hatakeyama notes of his practice:
I create contained vessels, I try to convey the sense that something is concealed or hidden within. I try to provoke a sense of the spiritual world in my bronze boxes.
The patterns and facets I create on the outside are a direct response to the landscape, real or imagined. I find that using gold or silver leaf within the interiors, there is a sense of enlightenment when opening the lid, my intention is to enter a different world, a different place. This place has no darkness. My consciousness is veiled in bronze.

Place of origin
cast bronze
29.0 x 14.0 x 22.5 cm
Gift of Lesley Kehoe 2020
Accession number
© Koji Hatakeyama