At Keiko Gallery, the Cups Runneth Over

At Keiko Gallery, the Cups Runneth Over


Hatanaka Atsushi produces semi-porcelain wares by using knives and razors to carve geometric patterns into porcelain after being spun on a wheel. This show is his debut in the United States.

If there were a battle of the vessels, the pot or bowl might be a classic, heavyweight victor. But it'd be the cup – the vessel we hold in our hands, against which we press our lips – that'd be found the most intimate. Drawing attention to the "often-overlooked art of handmade cups" is part of what inspired KEIKO Gallery's annual cup show, which opens tomorrow and runs until December 2.

KEIKO, nestled in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood, specializes in contemporary Japanese art and craft. The group exhibition, "It's All About Cups," is now in its 4th year and features work from 17 artists and makers. Though heavily weighted toward ceramic vessels, this year the show also contains work from emerging Japanese glass artists.

Gallery owner Keiko Fukai kindly kindly answered a few of our questions about the show.

Tell us some of your favorite thing about running KEIKO Gallery.
Meeting the people who love our collections. Hearing wonderful stories from customers about how they like our pieces. I am also so excited to observe the progress of the young artists.

What originally inspired you to have a cup show?
Cups are very familiar items in our daily life. That's why I would like the people to use them and have a ritzy and arty feeling every day. And the price is reachable, even though they're made by quite established artists.

This is your first year including glass artists; can you tell us a little bit about that?
Expanding the expression of the cups: Each material has some real limitations to execute the pieces, so it is more interesting to have different materials.