The relationship between food and plateware, dishes, bowls, and cups is powerful. Den Show, a ceramics-focused series of workshops, will celebrate that relationship with the feature of Japanese ceramics artist Kazu Oba. From November 23 to December 2, in the former OTOTO Restaurant space, Oba will showcase, produce, sell, and discuss his ceramics in an open and comfortable format. Seminars will include the traditions of a chef and potter, the elevated dining experience in Japan, and demonstrations on the pottery kick wheel. Sake, wine, beer and coffee will be served in Oba's ceramics.
A native of the island of Kyushu, Kazu Oba has exhibited his work throughout the world from the United States to Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Australia. Oba has trained formally in Japan between 2003 and 2004 with famed master potter Takashi Nakasato, a thirteenth generation Japanese potter whose work is part of the permanent display at Denver Art Museum.
The ceramics to be showcased at the Den Show are being created as we speak, but the highlight during those ten days will be watching this skilled Japanese artist craft his ceramics during the show, interacting with him, and even directing his production process to match desires and sensibilities as food is envisioned inside these plates and bowls. Yes, Oba promises that interested guests will have the chance to create custom plate ware during the show.
Oba feels strongly about the reduced, only co-staring role of his dishes in the dynamic of a meal and appreciates the life that food gives to his pottery. "I do not make dishes that are perfect," declared Oba of his pottery. "If I made them perfect, there would be nothing to add to them, no way to make them better. I make dishes that are just imperfect enough that when you put your food in them, they become perfect," he added.
Den Corner restaurants, Sushi Den and Izakaya Den, are committed to sharing Japanese traditions through support of local artists. Oba shares more then Denver with Toshi and Yazu Kizaki, owners of the Den Corner restaurants. "Kazu is from our native island Kyushu, Japan," said Toshi Kizaki. "Den Corner has always shared Japanese traditions and cuisine with Denver and Kazu's ceramic arts showcase the higher ground of a dining experience similar to that in Japan. We feel Den Show will be an extension of the educational aspects we like to incorporate into all events at Sushi Den and Izakaya Den," he added.