Isobel Dennis

Fair director, Collect, Crafts Council, UK

Dennis has over 20 years of experience organizing exhibitions in the arts in the private sector. In June 2018, she was appointed the fair director of Collect by the Crafts Council to bring a new level of commercial knowledge and expertise to the fair. As a director at Upper Street Events for 14 years, Dennis oversaw a group of exhibitions, particularly the graduate event, New Designers. More recently, she held the interim position of Director of Audience at the Design Museum, London, where she developed a new commercial approach to the museum’s marketing, communications, and exhibitions programming.

With a degree in 3D design specializing in ceramics, Dennis—the daughter of two architects—is passionate about craft, design, and art. She possesses a rare blend of creative industries knowledge and commercial acumen.


It is an honor to be judging the entries for the 5th Triennale of Kogei in Kanazawa. Collect is the leading international fair for contemporary craft and design, and as the fair director, it is my responsibility to ensure that we are introducing new works to an international buying audience on an annual basis. Therefore, I am excited to see the entries for this incredible international prize. I want you to surprise and delight. I will be looking for entries that illustrate the artist’s deep knowledge and understanding of their chosen materials as well as demonstrate their skill and quality of making.

The brief of “Craft Visions” allows for storytelling and character to shine from the work, so use this as an opportunity to explore and push your ideas further than you have before. Be confident in your response, whether it be quiet and sensitive or bold and dramatic. Both approaches will hold equal merit.

Monika Bincsik

Diane and Arthur Abbey Associate Curator for Japanese Decorative Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Monika Bincsik specializes in Japanese decorative arts and textiles. From 2008 through 2009, she was a Jane and Morgan Whitney Research Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Later, she worked as a research assistant at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, where she earned a second PhD on Japanese lacquer. As an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 2013 through 2015, she conducted research on lacquerware, textiles, ceramics, and netsuke. She was the co-curator of Kimono: A Modern History (2014) and the curator of Discovering Japanese Art: American Collectors and The Met (2015), Japanese Bamboo Art: The Abbey Collection (2017), and Kyoto: Capital of Artistic Imagination (2019). She is currently preparing an exhibition that highlights the history of kimono from the late Edo period through the 1930s. Bincsik has published numerous articles on Japanese decorative arts and collecting history. In 2018, Diane and Arthur Abbey—well-known New York collectors of Japanese bamboo art—provided a generous gift to endow a curatorship in the museum’s Department of Asian Art dedicated to Japanese decorative arts.


We are currently witnessing a paradigm shift in the field of craft. Artistic production can no longer be precisely described by the traditional formats, media, and genres that used to provide structure. It is an exciting moment that allows us to expand our thinking about craftsmanship, objects, and the role of crafted works in modern culture. The Triennale of Kogei in Kanazawa provides an excellent venue for a vigorous discussion of the present and future of craft. This international competition highlights a broad spectrum of works, and I look forward to engaging with them.

Photo: C2 Artechnolozy Dongup Kwak, Leica.

Cho Hyeyoung

Head curator, Tongyeong Triennale, South Korea; International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) Council member-representative for the Republic of Korea

Born in 1969 in Seoul, South Korea. Cho received a BA with Honors in ceramics from the University of the West of England, Bristol School of Art and Design (UK). She holds an MFA in ceramics from Ewha Womans University (Seoul, South Korea), where she also completed a PhD in Art Theory/Visual Arts. She has served as an international commissioner for the Gyeonggi International Ceramics Biennale (2013), a guest curator for the Fondation d’entreprise Bernardaud CCC Céramique Contemporaine Coréenne exhibition (Limoges, France, 2016), an art director for the Cheongju International Craft Biennale (South Korea, 2015), a guest curator for the special exhibition Contemporary Korean Ceramics at the Victoria and Albert Museum (UK, 2017–2018), an art director for Constancy and Change in Korean Traditional Craft at Milan Design Week (Italy, 2017), and the secretary-general for the Korea Craft and Design Foundation, an affiliate of South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Cho is a commissioner for the 2022 Loewe Craft Prize in South Korea.


The Triennale of Kogei in Kanazawa, Japan, meets its fifth edition. Over the years, it has truly expanded to become an internationally acclaimed competition in the field of craft. Kanazawa is a prominent city of kogei, as the term is understood in Japan, and the prestige of the competition can be seen in the level of the applicants. The exhibitions held by the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, have been a breath of fresh air, repeatedly showing innovation and creativity. The value of craft in Kanazawa is incomparable to anywhere else in the world. It is truly appreciated and respected.

I wish for the success of the triennial’s fifth edition and hope that many applicants will once again submit entries to this important event.

Photo: Yo Yang

Lin Mun-lee

Chair, National Culture and Arts Foundation; professor emeritus, National Taipei University of Education; former director, National Palace Museum

Lin Mun-lee holds a doctorate degree in education from the University of Tokyo. Lin is currently the chair of the National Culture and Arts Foundation (NCAF) and a professor emeritus at the National Taipei University of Education. She has served as the director of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the National Palace Museum. In addition to curating international exhibitions and directing initiatives for corporate involvement in the arts, Lin has devoted her career to the research and promotion of Taiwanese art history. In 2011, she founded the Museum of National Taipei University of Education (MoNTUE), establishing an innovative museum vision. In her role at MoNTUE, Lin continues to direct experimental and cross-disciplinary exhibitions and performing arts programs, vigorously pursuing initiatives that engage the local community.


Craft (kogei) ties together people and objects. The development of civilization and the advancement of human culture is driven by the working of objects. As the French anthropologist Lévi-Strauss once stated, art alone provides a space in the universe for people to be themselves. Crafts have brought together the self and the other, humans and nature, people and their environments, promoting dialog with the self and playing a necessary and invaluable role in all correlations. The Triennale of Kogei in Kanazawa brings together traditional techniques and modern craftsmanship, combining and deepening them. I am sure that this triennial will continue to point the way, showing the potential of unconventional approaches and means of creative expression that surpass the imagination.

Karasawa Masahiro

Director, National Crafts Museum

Born in 1964 in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. Karasawa holds a graduate degree in fine arts from the Aichi University of the Arts. After working as a curator at the Aichi Prefectural Ceramic Museum, in 2003 Karasawa accepted a post as a chief researcher for the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. In 2010, he became the director of the Crafts Division. He assumed his current post in 2020. In 2018, Karasawa was awarded the 39th Koyama Fujio Memorial Prize (Merit Award). Karasawa specializes in the history of modern and contemporary ceramics. He is a member of the Japan Ceramic Society Prize award committee. Karasawa’s publications include Kamabetsu gaido Nihon no yakimono Seto [Kiln Guide, Japanese Ceramics: Seto] (Tankosha, 2002). Karasawa is a coauthor of Nihon yakimonoshi [The Concise History of Japanese Ceramics] (Bijutsu Shuppansha, 1998) and Yakimono wo shiru 12 no suteppu [Twelve Steps for Understanding Ceramics] (Tankosha, 2019). He has planned and overseen a wide variety of exhibitions including Mineo Okabe: A Retrospective (2007), About the Tea Ceremony—A Viewpoint on Contemporary Kogei (Studio Crafts) (2010), From Crafts to Kogei—In Commemoration of the 60th Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition (2013), Celadon Now: Techniques and Beauty Handed Down from Southern Sung to Today (2014), Bizen: From Earth and Fire, Exquisite Forms (2019), and Modern Crafts and Tea Utensils: Furnishings in Each Season (2021).


In the past, the term kogeiteki (“craft-like”) was used negatively in the art world to denigrate works. Today, however, the term has become trendy and taken on new importance as a positive expression with connotations for a creator’s sculptural language. The term implies an evaluation not limited to the gaze of the viewer, but one that appreciates the original sculptural thought of the creator as unconcerned with established values. I look forward to seeing works that show the future of what it means to be “craft-like.”

Aoyagi Masanori

Director, Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art; chairman, Tama Art University; former Commissioner for Cultural Affairs

Born in 1944 in Dalian. Aoyagi specializes in the art and archaeology of ancient Rome. He has served as a professor at the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Letters, the director of the National Museum of Western Art, and the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs. Aoyagi is currently a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, a professor at the Tokyo University of the Arts, a member of the Japan Academy, the director of the Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art, the chairman of the board of directors of Tama Art University, the director of the Archaeological Institute of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture, the Chairman of the Culture and Education Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the director of the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art. He has been involved with the excavation of ancient Roman archaeological sites in Italy for five decades. He is a recipient of numerous domestic awards including the NHK Broadcasting Culture Award (2011), the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon (2006), the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star (2017), and a recognized Person of Cultural Merit (2021). Internationally, he has been recognized in Italy with the Sebetia Ter International Award (2008), the Torquato Tasso Award (2017), and the Amedeo Maiuri International Award of Archaeology (2019). He is a recipient of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2002). His publications include Koteitachi no miyako Roma (Rome: The Metropolis of the Emperors), Roma teikoku (The Roman Empire), Bunka rikkokuron (Building a Nation of Culture), and Jinrui bunmei no reimei to kurekata (The Dawn and Dusk of Human Civilization).


“Sustainability,” “diversity,” and “resilience” have become the global vocabulary of the first half of the twenty-first century. Crafts (kogei) are made from materials found in the natural world using traditional techniques. Through manual processes that vary from mass and industrial production, crafts add diversity to contemporary manufacturing. And while craft production has declined, it resiliently continues to survive. In other words, crafts embody the values demanded by the times. I hope that the Triennale of Kogei in Kanazawa will prove and preserve this truth.

Hasegawa Yuko

Director, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa; professor, Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Global Arts

Curator, art critic. Hasegawa graduated from Kyoto University with a BA in Law. She holds an MFA from the Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School. Hasegawa worked as a curator at Art Tower Mito before going on to serve as a visiting curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a curator at the Setagaya Art Museum, a directing curator and art director at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, and a chief curator and councilor for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Since April 2021, she has served as the director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. In 2020, Hasegawa received a commendation from the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs. She has worked on numerous special and international exhibitions including the 7th International Istanbul Biennial: Egofugal (2001), the 4th Shanghai Biennale (2002), the 29th São Paulo Biennial (2010), the 11th Sharjah Art Biennial: Re Emerge—Toward a New Cultural Cartography (2013), the 7th International Moscow Biennale: Clouds⇄Forest (2017), and the 2nd Thailand Biennale (2021). Her publications include Japanorama: New Vision on Art Since 1970.


Kogei is a unique Japanese genre characterized by an extraordinarily precise maniera (style) that has been elevated to a form of art. I hope that this triennial, which is dedicated to the creative potential of kogei, will be one that not only explores new narratives, metaphors, and forms, but also approaches to materials and techniques, forging a path to new landscapes and worldviews through the existence and state of the works exhibited.

Ohi Toyasai

Ceramist; Order of Culture recipient; Japan Art Academy member

Born in 1927 in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. Ohi inherited the name Chozaemon X in 1987. In 2016, he passed the name Chozaemon to his eldest son and assumed the name Ohi Toyasai. In 1997, he received an honorary doctorate from the Rochester Institute of Technology (USA) and served as the chairman of the Gendai Kogei Bijutsuka Kyokai (Contemporary Arts and Crafts Association). In 1999, he became a member of the Japan Art Academy. In 2004, he was recognized as a Person of Cultural Merit and in 2005 he was named an honorary citizen of Kanazawa. In 2008, he became an advisor for the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition (Nitten). He is a recipient of the Order of Culture (2011). In 2012, he received an honorary doctorate from the Tainan National University of the Arts (Taiwan) and was named an honorary citizen of Ishikawa Prefecture. In 2021, his retrospective exhibition titled kochu jitsugetsu nagashi Ohi Toyasai no manazashi (The Eternity in the Vase: The Gaze of Ohi Toyasai) was held at the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art.
Ohi ware (ohi yaki) is a type of Raku ware established in Kanazawa after the fifth Lord of the Kaga Domain, Maeda Tsunanori, invited Ohi Chozaemon (1631–1712) to found a kiln under the direction of Senso Soshitsu, a headmaster of the Urasenke school of tea. Ohi ware typically consists of hand-built pottery with an amber glaze.


Craft (kogei) is interpreted differently throughout the world and from one individual to the next. We recognize these differing views while wondering, “What does the future hold for the evolution of craft?” I hope that the Triennale of Kogei in Kanazawa will offer some premonition of that future.

Nakagawa Mamoru

Metalsmith, Living National Treasure

Born in 1947 in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. Nakagawa is the leading expert on Kaga metal inlay (Kaga zogan), a type of traditional decorative metalwork that utilizes engraving and chasing techniques. He was awarded the Japan Traditional Kogei Association Holder’s Prize at the Japan Traditional Kogei Exhibition in 2001 and 2003. In 2002, he received the MOA Museum of Art’s 13th Mokichi Okada Award for crafts. In 2004, Nakagawa was designated a Living National Treasure (“Holder of Important Intangible Cultural Property”) for metalwork (chokin). His work has been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2008, 2020) and the British Museum (2010). Nakagawa is the recipient of the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon (2009) and the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon (2018). In addition to vigorously pursuing his own works, Nakagawa is committed to the education of upcoming artists, and provides instruction at institutions such as the Kanazawa Shokunin Daigakko (Kanazawa Crafts College) and the Kanazawa Utatsuyama Crafts Workshop. Nakagawa is a professor emeritus at the Kanazawa College of Art.


People’s lifestyles and their values regarding physical objects are shifting and becoming more diverse. As a result, the category of craft (kogei) has broadened, and works rich in artistic qualities have come into demand. I hope that this triennial will attract new sensibilities and draw creative works and dynamic pieces by upcoming artists from around the world—works that may show the viewers, creators, and the craft industry at large a possible direction for the future of crafts. I am pleased to express my great expectations for this triennial.

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