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  • Writer's pictureAkiko Murakami

Kazuhisa Kusaba: an artist who can see dragons as energy of nature

Kazuhisa Kusaba is one of my favorite Japanese artist. His art works are called "TOSAIGA (陶彩画)", since they are uniquely made of a ceramic painting style influenced by Arita ware porcelain in Saga prefecture, Kyushu.

His designs often explore the theme of "INOCHI (life)" and "Universe of Love", represented by colorful dragons, Bodhisattva and Kannon (the goddess of mercy), as well as many deities from Japanese mythology. His intricate designs and techniques are all done with a thin paintbrush, and result in colours than can never be reproduced. Kusaba combines 20 years of research and experience with natural talent to produce one-of-a-kind pieces that will be sure to hold his audience spellbound.

Ever since I had seen his dragon painting which my friend showed me, I wanted to see his actual works. And the chance came a few month later in Toji Temple in Kyoto where Kusaba was holding his exhibition with free admission.

As in the picture above, he is having the same kind of Special exhibition in Toji Temple from April 28th to July 1st!!

His works were far beyond my imagination, expectation..absolutely breathtaking! All the divine beings and imaginary images of Japanese kami and dragons were so lively as if he had seen them. Since they are made of pottery works, as you move from left to right, or right to left with your eyes on the works, the colors and lights on the surface gradually change.  

Especially, I like the white dragon picture titled "Toki wa ima (Time is now)". The scales of the dragon partially shines like rainbow color.

Take a look at the next short video;

In 2014, a Chinese-Japanese pianist Wong Wing Tsan made an beautiful music CD titled "BLUE DRAGON" with a cover jacket designed by Kusaba; "Messenger of the dragon king's palace ". Amazingly, all musics were produced by improvisation in his meditative state!

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