Ken Matsuzaki was born in 1950 in Tokyo. Growing up Matsuzaki’s life was filled with art and culture and his family’s influence began to show when, around the age of 16, Matsuzaki developed an interest in ceramics. In 1972, after graduating from Tamagawa University’s College of Arts, he began a 3 year apprenticeship with (National Living Treasure) Tatsuzo Shimaoka.
Nearing the end of his apprenticeship Matsuzaki asked Shimaoka if he would consider extending it for another 2 years, whilst he learned to develop his own style, and began creating his own motifs and palette of glazes that he would use for the next 15 years. Today, Matsuzaki has exhibited widely in Japan, America, and the UK and his work is held in major galleries worldwide.
"Matsuzaki pots [...] while they are serious creations [...] are never earnest. They can be lively and colourful or quiet and humble, and on occasion the chance, or sometimes the deliberate, mishap in making or firing is celebrated. No two pots of his are ever identical, in each you are conscious of the brain of the potter connected directly through his hand to the clay as it moves on the wheel or work surface. This is in direct contrast to the western Eurpoean industrial ideal, exemplified by the work of the important 18th Century English potter Josiah Wedgwood, who sought to standardise his pots so that they all came out of the kiln looking exactly the same as the previous batch. We became so used to this reliable but mechanical method of production that our ceramics industry by the late nineteenth century had mostly lost sight of the elemental nature of ceramic materials and as a reaction our so-called studio pottery evolved.
Matsuzaki's pots have grown out of all these things as well as the hazards nature has always thrown at potters in Japan".
— Gill Darby, 2013
Selected Museum Collections
Cleveland useum of Art, Cleveland, OH.
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA.
Sackler Museum of Art, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Tikotin Museum, Haifa, Israel.
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA.
Museum of the City of Landoshut, Germany, (Rudolf Strasser Collection).
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco.