This award was generously supported by the Ford Foundation. _
Akio Takamori is a ceramist who produces hand-painted figurative works. After studying ceramics in Japan, Takamori moved to the U.S. in 1974 to attend the Kansas City Art Institute and Alfred University, New York. His earliest works were figures in vessel forms. During a 1996 residency in the Netherlands, Takamori began emphasizing the space between works by grouping larger figures in sculptural installations, a transition that would mark his future direction. His subjects include rural Japanese villagers from his childhood, historical and art historical characters, and contemporary people, at times accompanied by drawings. He is Professor of Art and Ceramics at the University of Washington, Seattle.