#Kazuhito Kawai

Kazuhito Kawai’s Exuberant Ceramic Sculptures Evoke Dollops of Ice Cream and Summertime Nostalgia

June 12, 2023

Kate Mothes

“Chungking Express” (2023). All images © Kazuhito Kawai, shared with permission

Coated in countless colored glazes, Kazuhito Kawai’s ceramic sculptures glop and ooze like vibrant, melting mounds of ice cream or sherbet. The vessel, one of the most essential forms in ceramics, provides a starting point for the Ibaraki, Japan-based artist. While he playfully hints at functionality, each piece seems to have a life of its own, sprouting delicate curls redolent of icing and details like drinking straws or umbrellas.

“There are about three to four types of blended clay and four to five different types of glazes, each with countless color variations,” Kawai tells Colossal. He emphasizes raucous colors and a smorgasbord of textures, and a piece can take between three and four months to complete.

After the weeks-long process of molding and layering, firing a sculpture in the kiln becomes a symbolic transformation that Kawai likens to a change in himself. Drawn to clay for its inherent malleability and the physical interaction required between maker and material, he shares that through these works “there is a sense of my inner self being brought out.” As he builds up the surfaces with layers of glaze, the pieces become akin to portraits of his emotions, mixing nostalgia, youthful joy, and hope.

Find more on Kawai’s website and Instagram.


“Can you keep a secret?” (2022)

Detail of “Can you keep a secret?”

“IDC” (2023)

Detail of “IDC”

“Aliens” (2021)

“Kasama-Yaki” (2021)

“Moment Scale” (2022)

“SEPHORA” (2022)

“Mikyuki Takayasu” (2021)

#Kazuhito Kawai


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