- Born 1938 in Aichi, Japan; lived and worked in Aichi and Gifu, Japan; died in 2020 in Aichi, Japan.
Ceramic artist Koie Ryoji first came into contact with pottery during a part-time job at a drainage pipe factory in his hometown of Tokoname. After graduating from the ceramics course of his local high-school, Koie continued to study ceramics while working at a tile manufacturing plant in Tokoname. In 1966, he graduated from the Tokoname Municipal Ceramics Research Institute and established his own studio.
His work always had strong socio-critical messages at its core, from the Return to “Earth” series (1971) moulded after the artistʼs face to series such as “Testimonies” (1973) or “Chernobyl” (1989‒ʼ90) with their clear anti-nuclear sentiment. In his practice, Koie continued to challenge the act of burning clay with fire and experimented with unusual materials such as glass and metal. His refusal to stay within the conventional frames of ceramics earned him high critical acclaim both in Japan and worldwide.
Koie Ryojiʼs work has been shown at numerous exhibitions, including Modern Ceramic Art I: The Potential of Fire and Clay, Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Museum (1982; Japan) and Contemporary Ceramics 1950-1990, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art (1993; Japan).