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From the Field: Kazunori Hamana

The seaside life of an artist, farmer, and fisherman.

12.20.2022

Kazunori Hamana's studio

We were introduced to Kazunori Hamana by our friends at Landscape Products. We were already fans of his work, something about his pots appealed to us in a very deep way. They were muscular and yet delicate, refined and crude at the same time, traditional but futuristic, grounded and yet so light… I could go on and on. We were working on the Ace Hotel in Kyoto and had convinced the client to commission several pots that would be scattered throughout the public spaces. So, with that in hand we drove to Chiba for the first time in 2018 and met the man in his world.

Hamana is an incredible artist, a farmer, and a fisherman. He’s also super personable and warm and looks like a Japanese action star. His home is right on the water and the pots are everywhere: giant one perched in the middle of his tiny living room and kitchen, a population of them out on his deck…everywhere you look. He prepared delicious noodles with anchovies he had caught himself and served them to us in his Jurassic like pottery as we chatted about his work and living as an artist in Japan and his love for the land and the sea. After lunch he drove us to an old farmhouse nearby that he uses to display his work in the most poetic way. There’s a grove of fruit trees he tends and a bamboo forest with his pots scattered throughout like toad stools that spurted right out of the ground. The whole thing is so magical… if you didn’t already love the work, this would do it, you’d be hooked.

A couple of years later I returned to review the pots he had made for the project, 16 beauties laid out on his deck, one more beautiful than the next. We were in a bit of a rush this time, but he wanted to take us to what I thought was the old farm we had seen, instead he drove us to a different farmhouse he had added to his world, this one perfectly positioned above a rice field, like the other, with the perfect patina of years of use and neglect that create the ideal backdrop for his work.

Hamana’s world is his own… like his work, there is nothing like it. If you are lucky enough to experience it, you’ll fall in love with it and with him and even anchovies, whether you like them or not.

Photos and text by Roman Alonso

Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
IMG 3957
IMG 3957
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio
Kazunori Hamana's studio