頬鎧盃 Fukuoka, Japan 2021~

Koga's popular series, "Ho Yoroi Hai" (Cheek Armor Cup), is aptly named after the armor that snugly covers from the chin to the cheeks. When sipping sake from this unique vessel, one takes on the appearance of donning this armor. Its inspiration hails from the quirky and distinctive protective gear, known as "Kawari Kabuto," often adorned by the feudal warlords of the Warring States period. These warriors, who risked their lives on battlefields, also competed for a unique sense of beauty in their armors. Koga was deeply moved by their spirit and ethos, which sparked the creation of this series. In today's age, the proliferation of social media allows everyone a voice, a phenomenon Koga likens to a "bottom-up revolution." He asserts, "With determination and resolve, anyone can rise up, regardless of their origins." Through his "Hoo Yoroi Hai" series, Koga continues to cheer on modern-day warriors with lofty aspirations. This particular piece is themed after the legendary warlord Uesugi Kenshin, often referred to as the "Dragon of Echigo." Its design, inspired by this moniker, features a striking dragon's mouth. It pairs with another piece inspired by Takeda Shingen, known as the "Tiger of Kai." Using hues of white, purple, and indigo, the work depicts Mount Fuji crowned with snow. The white embodies the color of the porcelain base, while the transition from blue to purple is achieved using a cobalt-based glaze, which changes color when a transparent, gloss-producing glaze is applied. This results in a gradient of two textures and hues - the purple being matte and the indigo having a glass-like quality, offering a delightful play of colors for the viewer.