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Ryota Aoki (b.1978) says that he wants to see things that never before existed in ceramics. Personally, too, he is the exemplification of that ethos. We do not usually expect a celebrated ceramicist to be wearing a turban, have both ears pierced and be listening to hip-hop in the background as he sits behind the potter’s wheel.

In his studio, he displays the Japanese flag on the wall, in the hope that he will one day become Japan’s representative ceramic artist. He has also been called the modern Oribe, a reference to his use of the varied forms and patterns on wares favored by the revered 16th-century tea master.

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