A concept that goes against wabi-sabi
--When I saw your works, I was shocked. I found your works very flamboyant. The colours are bright, with gold and silver, and the shapes are prominent. I felt that they were the opposite of the usual ceramic artworks.
Koga: That's true. When ceramics are mentioned, we immediately think of the tea ceremony. Wabi-sabi is always associated with Sen no Rikyu, the ceramic school that advocates sobriety.
-As you say, ceramics has a rather austere image.
Koga: I am interested in the world of the tea ceremony, and I have great respect for traditional wabi-sabi works. If you trace its history, you always come to Sen no Rikyu. At that time, karamono (tea bowls from China reserved for tea ceremonies, translator's note), colourful and luxurious, were very appreciated and these true works of art were associated with power. In this context, Rikyu dared to use black tea bowls made in Japan, declaring, "This is the beauty of Japan." It was like a pied-de-nez to the established order.