Akio Takamori's ceramic sculptures evoke an eerie sense of reality and presence. Often drawn from childhood memories of small-village life in Japan, his standing and sleeping figures depict ordinary people going about their day-to-day existence. Another body of Akio's work consists of ceramic vessels, often painted with erotic images.

Takamori was born in 1950 in Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Japan. He studied art at Masashino Art College, Tokyo, before moving to the U.S. in 1974. He received a BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1976 and an MFA at Alfred University in New York in 1978. Since 1993 he has been a faculty member in the University of Washington School of Art.

Examples of Akio's work can be found in the Carnegie Institute Art Museum (Pittsburgh), the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Kansas City Art Institute, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, and the Tacoma Art Museum, among others. In 2006, the Arizona State University Art Museum created a touring "mid-career survey" of Akio's work, Between Clouds of Memory. The exhibit was shown at the Tacoma Art Museum in 2006; the UW's Henry Art Gallery presented Akio Takamori: The Laughing Monks that same year.

Akio passed away from cancer in January 2017. The Seattle Times published this wonderful obituary following his death.

We are proud to have two of Akio Takamori's works in the Allen Center. His Boy in Yellow Sweater stands calmly in the CSE reception area on the first floor, while his Young Woman in White Dress (made specially for the Allen Center) greets people on the Silverberg Stair.


Huge Akio sculptures on Westlake in front of Whole Food

KCTS video: "Still Here: Remembering Seattle's Renowned Ceramics Artist Akio Takamori"

Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

James Harris Gallery, Seattle

From UW to Whole Foods, remembering a local ceramics artist, in Crosscut

"Boy in Yellow Sweater" with his friends at Garth Clark Gallery, NY.

Akio with "Young Woman in White Dress"


Between Clouds of Memory: Akio Takamori, a Mid-career Survey, by Akio Takamori, Peter Held, and Garth Clark.

Art in the Allen Center