Born and raised in Japan by creative parents (his mother a painter and poet, and father a master craftsmen builder) Kitamura developed a desire to create. Tomoo Kitamura studied ceramics under Fujia Sakuma in Mashiko, Japan, an area traditionally known for over 380 distinct styles of ceramics. Kitamura’s introspective, organic forms speak strongly of their Japanese influence while remaining fluent in contemporary dialogues and themes.


Seeking to understand the ever-changing aspects of humanity, Kitamura’s forms both journey through and awake in the viewer “a deep quest towards self-revelation and contemporary identity.” Their surfaces, built from coils of stoneware clay, balance carved pattern and design with quiet, contemplative glazes of white. Evoking tide-worn shells, heritage pottery, and fluid space, Kitamura’s pieces contain a presence and scale both human and divine. 


The creative process led Kitamura to explore a two dimensional, visual landscape for the ‘life forms’ he created in clay.  He found this through abstract painting. Working with oils he builds the surface with many layers of color and texture. Each surface is a new discovery.


Kitamura’s works have been shown in solo and group exhibitions including, Anne Neilson Fine Art Gallery, Christa Faut Gallery, X Foundation, Charlotte NC, Lee Hansley Gallery, Gallery One, Nashville TN, the Mint Museum of Art, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Kentucky Museum of Art, Montgomery College, MD, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, DC. He was awarded an eleven-month residency at the McColl Center for Visual Art. His work exists in many corporate collections such as, Phillip Morris and Electrolux, and private collections throughout the United States, Japan and Israel.


1965 –Tochigi, Japan


Apprentice- Fujia Sakuma Ceramics, Mashiko, Japan


McColl Center For Visual Art, 11 Month Artist–in-Resident, April 2012 - March 2013



Community Supported Art Program – Arts & Science Council, 2013

Charlotte Arts & Science Council, Stanford Financial Award Commission, 2009

Award of Excellence, Piedmont Craftsmen, 2003

Philadelphia Furniture & Furnishings Show, “Hot Materials Award” ,2002

Arts & Science Council, Regional Emerging Artist Grant, 2001



Ceramics Monthly, Dec. 2003 “Quite Voice, Loud Statement”

Charlotte Home and Garden, September, 2013



AC Hotel by Marriott, Charlotte, NC

Electrolux Corporate Office, Charlotte, NC

Stanford Financial, Houston, Texas

Stanford Financial, Charlotte NC

First Charter Bank, Charlotte, NC

Carlisle, Sandridge & Rice, Raleigh NC

CT Communications, Concord, NC

Phillip Morris, Concord, NC

First Charter Bank, Concord, NC

The Stanford Group, Memphis, TN

Arts and Science Council, Charlotte, NC