Akiko Hirai

Born: 1970
Place of Birth: Japan

Akiko Hirai was born in Japan in 1970. She moved to London in 1999, studying ceramics at the University of Westminster and Central St. Martins. Akiko’s work is both a blend of Japanese and British studio pottery traditions resulting in asymmetrical, ‘imperfect’ organic forms.

"My preference of choosing types of clay when making white ware is the dark and coarse clay most of the time. The whiteness acts as a membrane or a veil. The hints of the true nature of the material appear slightly on the surface. Dark clay which consists of many impurities induces strong chemical changes in heat and the trace of events remains under the veil when it cools down. White, on the other hand, is more stable because of its purity. It is already settled and has a feeling of “stillness”.

Superficially my work appears to be quiet in white. It does not show the rawness of Mother Nature directly. A symbolic figure always looks more perfect than the actual person he/she is. Imagination and fantasy always reinforce the imperfection and achieve the perfection with its own originality. Therefore the completion of my work is done by the viewers. My work is a creation on its own." - Akiko Hirai

2002-2003 Central Saint Martins, School of Graphics and Industrial Design, London

2000- 2002 University of Westminster Harrow (transferred to St. Martins)

1989-1993 Aichi Gakuin University, Japan

Public Collections include: 

Keramikmuseum Westerwald (Westerwald Ceramic Museum), Germany

Hirai was the subject of a solo exhibition in March 2017.

  • Iron Fluted Vases
    Akiko Hirai

    Iron Fluted Vases

    2017
    stoneware
    H:15 - 19cm W:9.5 - 19cm
    £230 - £300 (middle and right sold)
  • Tile Vases
    Akiko Hirai

    Tile Vases

    2017
    porcelain
    H:19.5 - 21.5cm W:20 - 22.5cm D:4.5 - 6cm
    £200 - £250 (left sold)
  • Medium Moon Jar
    Akiko Hirai

    Medium Moon Jar

    2017
    Stoneware
    H:43cm D:35cm
    Sold
  • Still Life Bottles and Yunomis
    Akiko Hirai

    Still Life Bottles and Yunomis

    2017
    Stoneware
    H:7-25cm W:6-10cm
    £45 - £200
  • Iron Black Dobin Teapot
    Akiko Hirai

    Iron Black Dobin Teapot

    2017
    Stoneware
    H:23cm W:15cm
    £200
  • Dry Kohiki Jug & Dry Kohiki Milk Jug
    Akiko Hirai

    Dry Kohiki Jug & Dry Kohiki Milk Jug

    2017
    Stoneware
    H:9-22cm D:7-17cm
    £65 - £220 (left sold)
  • Large Korean Ash Bowls
    Akiko Hirai

    Large Korean Ash Bowls

    2017
    Stoneware
    H:9cm D:21cm
    £240 each
  • Kohiki Fluted Vase I & II
    Akiko Hirai

    Kohiki Fluted Vase I & II

    2017
    Stoneware
    H:24-27cm D:14-18cm
    £300 each (right sold)
  • Dry Kohiki Cereal Bowls (Cream & Grey)
    Akiko Hirai

    Dry Kohiki Cereal Bowls (Cream & Grey)

    2017
    Stoneware
    H:8cm D:9.5-13cm
    £80 each (right sold)
  • Still Life Bottles
    Akiko Hirai

    Still Life Bottles

    2017
    Black clay, stoneware and glazed stoneware
    H:14 - 28 (approx)cm
    £65 - £90
    Photograph: William Van Esland
  • Akiko Hirai in her studio
    Akiko Hirai

    Akiko Hirai in her studio

    2015