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Colourful black & white

The individual style of Susumu Fujii

Modern ceramic artists Susumu Fujii creates bonsai pots which only ‘color is black or white…

During the 17th Modern Small Pot exhibition Susumu Fujii’s highly unorthodox pots were awarded the bronze medal prize for their unusual form and textures. They come from a place of deep creativity and individual style and here we introduce the true character of the artist.

A complete breakaway from conventional bonsai pot design with a feeling of freedom. In the middle of the seemingly monotone combination of black and white are variations in colour, glaze and uneven forms and textures. A very modern feel is achieved.

Goods from Bali

Shapes without any others to compare against, they have a refined yet rugged aesthetic sense. The artist Mr. Fujii has a life history which is just as unique. After graduating from the agricultural department of a National University, he obtained his license in flower arranging before opening a business importing goods from Bali. In 2004 he began to sell directly to the public and widen the range of goods that were imported.

The black and white pots seem to have a lot of 'Color'.
Pots displayed at the 17th Modern Small Pot Artist exhibition Awarded the Bronze prize for glazed section by the All Japan Shohin Association. (Left 9x8cm Middle 17x13x7cm Right 12x6m)

Until that point he had experience of photographing ceramics. His work involved the arts and ceramics and not too long afterwards plants. In order to become a master photographer he attempted to photograph plants and eventually discovered bonsai. In 2016 he started to make ceramic containers initially for his own use. Now under the concept of “Living a life with plants”, he makes and sells his own designed pots under the name of “Ima Plants”’, selling them at department store special events and through his own website.

Alongside the photographic studio where he works half the time as a professional cameraman, is a desk containing all the equipment for sculpting and shaping the pots. The workroom itself is modern and clean.

An event at the Iwataya Department store in Tenjin, Fukuoka which has been held on a regular basis since 2019.

Planted in one of the pots, the natural shapes and textures come to life in an incredible way
Susumu Fujii
In August 2022, an exhibition “Handmade Bonsai Pots”, was held at the Sanetsu Fukuoka Department store.

Growing plants and planting them in his own pots has given rise to a new aesthetic which appeals to a number of people. The form and texture of the pots is deliberately original and the concept is to fit in with modern interiors and life. The inspiration for the shapes comes from the clay during the creation process.

With regards to the award at the Modern Small Pot Exhibition, “I create objects that I personally would want and there is a gap between them and the traditional shapes of bonsai pots, which I deeply respect. Receiving the award, I was incredibly happy to have been recognised by the bonsai community as being acceptable alongside those traditional shapes.” There is definitely a place for the unconventional alongside the traditional and anything that gets new people interested and allows them to live alongside bonsai can only be a good thing.

His own gallery, “Ima Plants”, which also operates online and in Nakagawa City, Fukuoka Pref.

Susumu Fujii

1949 - Born in Nagasaki Pref.
1977 - Graduated from Ibaraki Agricultural University
1997 - Received license
2016 - Established his own Kiln
2018 - Kiln renamed as Chikushi Kofu Kiln
2019 - First exhibition in Iwayata and Izutsuya department stores, which became an annual event
2021 - Opening of the shop “Ima Plants”, 2022 - Awarded bronze in the 17th Small Pots exhibition, glazed pots category
2022 - Exhibition at Sanetsu Fukuoka
2022 - Lectures given at Iwataya College

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2024-1 #186 | #209- January /FebruaryJan. 1, 2024Jan. 15Jan. 22
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