Kenta Anzai is based in Fukushima prefecture, where he handcrafts ceramic pieces that are informed by the notion of simplicity. His apprenticeship under Taizo Kuroda makes him a part of an outstanding lineage of Japanese artisans; as Kuroda was apprentice to the second Japanese Living National Treasure of Mashiko, Tatsuzo Shimaoka, who had received his training under the first National Treasure, Shoji Hamada.
He produces vessels and moon jars in porcelain, which are later covered with a black glaze containing a small amount of urushi lacquer – a natural Japanese lacquer that originates as tree sap. Anzai’s use of urushi lacquer in his ceramics defies their conventional use for wood, and looks back to over 5000 years ago, when it was used in the creation of Jomon pots.
Each piece is indicative of the Wabi Sabi aesthetic, with Anzai taking months to complete them and achieve give their thoroughly aged surfaces through continuous sandpapering, polishing and refining. The simple forms of his vessels are contrasted with the unique surface patterns which represent the time and energy that Anzai puts into his ceramics.