Artist Introduction

Tosaiga artist

Kazuhisa Kusaba

Kazuhisa Kusaba

In 1960,he was born in Kamino-cho, Saga City in Saga Prefecture.
From an early age, he grew up interested in the activities of “life”, such as animals and nature.
He was awakened to a joy of expressing something as an artist and entered Act Department of the College of Art, Nihon University,
but was strongly realized his lack of experience and experience as a source of expression.
He dropped out of university and traveled as a backpacker for about four years, mainly in Asia.
Along the way, he experienced that even ordinary things can be fresh, and he was touched by the excitement of “everyone’s alive!”.
That is when he decided to become an artist who expresses the “brilliance of life”.

He returns home with a vision of Tosaiga, a ceramic painting using Arita porcelain techniques in his hometown, but he continues to be refused by Arita craftmen as impossible.
In 1987, finally Yuki Hayama, who is famous for his delicate painting took him at the age of 27. And he started research for establishing Tosaiga.
Conventional Arita Porcelain was able to withstand painting and firing only about four times at most, but after trial and error, he succeeded in painting and firing more than ten tims in order to achieve deeper and more vivid colors.
In 1990, he became independent and started his Tosaiga creation activities by starting his studio called “Konn-shinn” in Yamauchi-cho, Takeo City, Saga Prefecture.

After that, he continued his research in search of deeper and more beautiful colors and brilliance, and in addition to creating works, he visited India, Mongolia, Dunhuang, and other places to study techniques and subjects.
He continued to grow as an artist and began to open solo exhibitions in various places, and in 2003 he changed his studio’s name to Kazuhisa Kusaba Kobo(studio), and the following year he opened a gallery directly managed by the studio in Saga.

Moreover, with being shocked by the children’s murder events occured one after another, he wrote picture book series, “Festival of Life”with the desire to tell the preciousness of life to children.
Later, the book was adopted as a textbook on morality in elementary schools, and he became to be invited to lectures from various places.

In 2014, the gallery in Saga was renewed to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the studio, and in 2018, the gallery space “龗(okami) GINZA OKAMI” was opened in Ginza 5-chome, Tokyo as part of celebration of the 30th anniversary.
In 2020, in commemoration of his 60th birthday, as he returned to his origin of his longing for the brilliance of “life” and created a bold and playful “Jizai (free)” series that differs from the delicate expression of conventional works.
In addition, he conitnues to improve as an artist by creating “NyoiHouju”, the source of the power of dragons with his passionate motivation to express “life” after 30 years since the establishment of Tosaiga.

Year table

1987年 Entered Arita, Saga Prefecture and started researching for new expression, Tosaiga
1990年 Opened Konn-shinn studio to establish and research new techniques to create color while repeatedly painting and firing
1992年 Produced Japan’s largest 20-meter ceramic mural”Chinju no Sai”
1996年 Start interaction with Dunhuang Art Academy in China
He was introduced on NHK TV “Living with Fire”
His work “I remember you” was adopted as a poster for the movie “Wings of Human”
1998年 Exhibited at the Asian Craft Exhibition
Visited private murals and statues of Dunhuang Mogao Caves, Western Thousand Buddha Caves, and Yulin Caves in China
2002年 Tosaiga “Mizu no Bosatsu” is displayed in the trainer room of Seattle Mariners in the United States
2004年 Tosaiga Gallery opened in Takeo City, Saga Prefecture
2005年 Authored the picture book “Festival of Life Nuchinugusuji”, published nationwide from Sunmark Publishing, became a long bestseller which is unusual for a picture book (series sales total 480,000)
Nuchinugusuji is still airing on NHK E-Tele “TV Picture Book”
2006年 Presented his work “Great Harmony” to the President of Mongolia
His Tosaiga “Dai-chouwa” was printed in the book “The Wisdom of Compassion” aouthered by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
“Dai-chouwa” is presented to His Holiness the Dalai Lama
2008年 Picture book “Inochi no Matsuri” won the National Kindergarten “Picture Book Grand Prize”
2009年 Picture book “Inochi no Matsuri” selected as a representative work from Japan at Bologna Children’s Book Fair
2011年 Held a hospital art exhibition at Kanazawa Medical University
The world’s first attempt to create Tosaiga works, “Heian” and “Toki ha Ima” with iridescent color.
2012年 As a new attempt of Tosaiga, supervise a prayer space (charnel house) with the theme of “life”.
Directed his first documantary movie,”Chikyu ha Kyoushitsu”
2013年 Cooperated in the movie “Strawberry Night -theatre-“, released in January 2013, with works; iridescent dragon “Heian” and abstract painting “Tousui” and etc.
Special Tosaiga “Dainichi Nyorai – Kongoukai-” is presented to Fukusei Temple Shiundo in Wakayama Prefecture
2014年 Saga Gallery was renovated and reopened at the 25th anniversary of his studio
2016年 Held a solo exhibition at Toji Temple-Grand head temple of the Toji Shingon sect, a temple of the World Heritage Site. (held regularly later)
2017年 Create works using the idyel glaze called ancient Persian flower
2018年 4 out of 5 works of the picture book “Inochi no Matsuri” series are adopted in morality textbook
As part of the 30th anniversary of Tosaiga, gallery space “Okami GINZA OKAMI” opened in Ginza 5-chome
2020年 after 60th birthday, produced the “Free – Sparkling Glaze-” series