Agency for Cultural Affairs, Goverment of Japan
Creator’s Voice Arita ware × MURAYAMA Macoto

Discovering new possibilities for expression at the Arita ware workshop

At the start of the project, MURAYAMA Macoto went to Saga Prefecture to visit The Kyushu Ceramic Museum and a pottery kiln that produces Arita ware to deepen his understanding of the craft. Murayama is collaborating with a kiln for this project to create Arita ware painted with figures based on his botanical illustrations. After the trip, we asked him what inspiration he gained from Arita ware and his thoughts about this undertaking.

—Please share what impressions you had from the onsite tour.

I already had an interest in the designability of Arita ware, but at The Kyushu Ceramic Museum I learned about its historical background and changes in its design and associations. I was able to gain a feel for the depth and essence of Arita ware. In addition, when I visited Fukusen-gama, which is the pottery kiln I’m collaborating with, I was surprised at the production procedure, which is completely divided into several processes carried out by multiple specialists. Having toured the kiln, I realize the key to the exhibit will be the degree to which the delicate lines that characterize my artwork can be recreated.

MURAYAMA Macoto visits Fukusen-gama, the pottery kiln that produces Arita ware(at right).
Painting Arita ware

—What expectations do you have about this collaboration to produce Arita ware?

I expect this project will provide a very meaningful opportunity to break new boundaries for both myself as the artist and for pottery through compromise with one another. I want to convey unique, beautiful botanical illustrations that are distinct from Arita ware produced so far. Everything about this project is a first for me, including collaborating to create a traditional craft, working with the three-dimensional medium of porcelain, and exhibiting in an airport. I’m looking forward to the modern botanical illustrations I’ve designed being painted onto historical Arita ware and am filled with anticipation.

A 3D model of a chrysanthemum being created by Murayama.


Born in 1984, MURAYAMA Macoto is a digital artist who creates detailed botanical images by combining his talent for minute observation with his exceptional computer graphics skills. MURAYAMA makes expert use of 3D modeling software and other digital tools, integrating organic plant forms with an architectural visual aesthetic. His work opens up new possibilities in botanical and engineering drawings by combining artistic and scientific approaches. Major awards include the Asia Digital Art Award, the Fukuoka Governor’s Award, and the Minister of MEXT Award at the 2017 Asia Digital Art Awards.