Makoto Yamaguchi is a 6th generation artist born in Seto, Japan in 1978. He is son to the late 5th generation ceramic artist Masafumi Yamaguchi thereby inheriting a ceramic legacy that stretches back into the mid 19th Century. As with all artists who gain the responsibility to carry forward an established and favoured family tradition, it was a considerable challenge but one he has undoubtedly risen to and is excelling at.
In this exhibition ‘The Philosophy of Oribe’ , his first solo exhibition outside of Japan, we see him at what would surely feel like the zenith of a potter’s career twice his age. So at the relatively tender age of 44 one can only see him going on to be one of the most famous Oribe artists of his generation, setting a standard that the next generation can only begin to aspire to. In recent travels around Japan the mention of his name to both emerging and senior artists alike produced knowing nods and words of enormous affection and approval. The subject of endless solo shows in some of the best galleries in cities across Japan, Yamaguchi san has earned an incredibly high status for a maker independently established for less than 20 years. It is his attention to detail, inherited instincts and progressive attitude combined with a herculean work ethic and respect for tradition that earns him this spot. His fabulous greens and blues thickly applied and traversed across the surface of his pieces make even those unfamiliar with Japanese ceramics weak at the knees, and rightly so.