Fragrance of the universe

My first name is unique in Japan and was given to me by a monk from Noto Peninsula. Uko means fragrance of the universe.                                                                             A free-minded and poetic approach to life informed my childhood. Allowed to follow my interests, I assembled a racing bicycle, constructed model racing cars, and flew model airplanes. This led to a job as a car test driver for a magazine and eventually an offer to drive a lightweight formula racing car professionally. I was racing cars up until the day I left for New York.                                                                                                 Soon after I arrived I met Isamu Noguchi and gradually moved into the art world.           In 1983, the first piece I showed in public caught the attention of Philip Johnson who invited me to MoMA to review my designs. During this time I worked on many large-scale public sculpture projects, sometimes assisting Tal Streeter whom I respect greatly for his approach to art and life. A few years later, Tal invited me to teach at SUNY Purchase. I taught a wide range of ceramics for many years and continued on my own to create art, sculpture, product designs, and pottery, all of which, in the end, are unified in my mind as art.

In 1992, an executive from Takashimaya invited me for a meeting at their Nihonbashi offices to discuss a new branch in New York City. I had an auspicious feeling after that meeting which turned out to be the beginning of a seventeen-year relationship during which I designed and produced ceramic tableware for Takashimaya until they closed their New York store in 2010.                                                                                       Since then I have retreated to my private studio in the Hamptons to continue my work on projects of interest and fine art. Nestled in the greenery of my garden, the fresh ocean breeze provides inspiration. 

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