Ken Mihara’s ceramics are a visual ode to his native land, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, known as the capital of the gods; a land steeped in ancient Japanese myths and legends. The vessels are a culmination of elegant shapes, soft delicate curves, and ancient forms inspired by the surrounding land. Mihara’s striking palette of blues and dark greys intersperses with bursts of beige, gold and orange hues.
Using clay rich in iron from his native Shimane Prefecture, Mihara constructs each work through an organic creative process. Each piece is hand formed using a coil and oinch technique to create a strong linear quality. Mihara states: “I consider it my job to help the clay express its beauty”, and likewise, “clay leads, and my hands follow. I do not know what shape my work is going to end up even while I am making it.” (Ken Mihara in conversation with Nishi Keiko, An interview with artist Mihara Ken, e-yakimono.net, August 2002) His most recent series titled Kei (Mindscape) generate a sense of movement and vitality through gentle folding and bending. The vessels feature double-walled interiors that swirl and spiral similar to small galaxies. The outer walls subtly embrace a complex interior; whilst at the same time the compositional tension allows the form to unravel.
Mihara’s most revered series, Kigen (Genesis), are primordial in formation. The structures are symmetrical and balanced, which create a unique combination of subtlety and solidity. The rough, unrefined and grainy surface texture adds to the ancient ambiance. Mihara repeatedly fires the vessels at high temperatures to slowly unlock subtle and soft colours ranging from deep grey to peach to misty whites and purples. Mihara states: “The high degree of chance and serendipity in any firing is far beyond my control.” (Ken Mihara, “Mihara Ken – The power of chance”, Ceramics Art and Perception, issue 73, 2008, p84)
Ken Mihara was born in 1958 in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. After completing his studies in 1982 with Funaki Kenji, Mihara participated in numerous exhibitions and prizes. In 2005, he received a grant from Tomo Museum to travel for 6 months throughout Italy, from Milan, then south to Florence, Rome and Sicily. Mihara has been the recipient of many prizes and awards, including the prestigious Japan Ceramic Society Award in 2008; Paramita Ceramics Competition, Paramita Museum, Japan in 2006; The Energia Art Award in 2002 and the Shizuoka Prefecture’s Cultural Encouragement Award in 2009. Mihara has exhibited internationally with SOFA New York, New York (2008), Galerie Besson, London (2010), and most recently with Joan B Mirviss Gallery, New York (2011). His works are held in public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles and The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Since 1996, he has been represented by Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.
The Liverpool Street Gallery concomitently hosts the solo exhibition of artist Kevin Lincoln.
Michal Fargo: Else, 2013, Porcelain, fired mold technique, fired to cone 6 electric, 28x15 cm. Photo by Mathew Stanton.
Michal Fargo: Else, 2012, Porcelain, fired mold technique, fired to cone 6 electric, 13x15 cm. Photo by Mel Bergman.
Michal Fargo: Else, 2012, Porcelain, fired models technique, fired to cone 6 electric, 9x7 cm. (yellow) and 7x6 cm. (whites). Photo by Mel Bergman.
Michal Fargo: Else, 2013, Porcelain, fired models technique, fired to cone 6 electric (Bronze Winner of the China Kaolin Prize 2013, part of Jingdezhen’s Ceramic Museum’s collection), 30x17 cm. Photo by Mel Bergman.
Michal Fargo: Else, 2012, Porcelain, fired models technique, fired to cone 6 electric, 30x18 cm. (white right), 24x21 cm. (white middle), 26x16 cm. (blue). Photo by Sasha Flit.
Deadline for applications: June 30, 2013
International Ceramic Art Symposium “LANDescape” is a new joint initiative of Daugavpils Clay Art Center and Daugavpils Rothko Art Center which emerged from both partner organizations’ activities and co-operation aimed at promoting contemporary art, including contemporary ceramic processes in Latvia.
In the framework of planned ceramic symposium “LANDescape”, drawing inspiration both from Latvian nature and cultural space, as well as personal world, the participants are invited to create unique ceramic art works with their chosen materials and techniques, although there is a conjunctive theme, that indicates „spurting”, „escaping” „getting away”, „political position” etc., as well as being away from what we are used for and „coming from earth or into it” in the aspect of clay - material used.
Symposium is the place and time when artists, being freed from everyday worries and organizing their social life, can get completely drawn in the creative process. This kind of creative work, not only allows ceramists to meet colleagues from other countries and share experiences, but also to divert as much creative energy of the participants as possible towards creation, that may result in unique works of art.
Daugavpils as symposium venue is significant as it is the eastern border city of European Union, which attracts great artists’ attention with the region’s diverse ethnic, culturally historical environment, with deep cultural traditions and where different cultural and artistic links are self-evident. In addition, within Latvia, it is one of the largest border cities and provides a stimulating environment for cross-border artistic cooperation.
1. To collectively create ceramic fire sculpture ensemble, thus improving the cultural space of Daugavpils;
2. To create unique contemporary ceramic objects for Latvian art and cultural space, to create a platform for artists to exchange experiences and generate creative idea, as well as to promote contemporary ceramic processes in the society;
3. To promote high quality contemporary art availability to public, raise public interest in culture, preservation of cultural heritage, to promote the creation of new artworks and their collections.
Symposium organizers’ liabilities:
1. Artists accommodation costs in Daugavpils (hotel and meals);
2. Working studios;
3. Working materials – clay, chamotte clay, glazing, etc.
4. Opportunity to use wood-firing kiln, electric kiln up to 1300 degrees Celsius, as well as a chance to explore different types of individual firing;
5. Publicity (information in mass media, publishing of symposium catalogue);
6. Recreation possibilities: tour around the city and region, visiting educational arts establishments in Daugavpils;
7. Opportunity to present a creative work;
8. Symposium opening exhibition (opening on August 12, 2013);
9. Symposium final exhibition (opening on August 24, 2013).
Download Application form / Download Regulations
Application and other materials added should be sent by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Valentins Petjko, +37120207533, email@example.com
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Ceramics Now Magazine launches Issue 2 -
Ceramics Now has the pleasure to invite you to the launch of Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue 2, March 29, from 6 PM, at The Paintbrush Factory (First Floor), Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Issue Two introduces the work of over 35 international artists, beginning with Ken Eastman, Kimberly Cook, Patricia Sannit, Marianne McGrath, Annie Woodford, Suzanne Stumpf or Ruth Power, and continuing with a special feature on Romanian ceramic artists, and a preview feature for Copenhagen Ceramics gallery. The issue also inaugurates the magazines’ new review category.
Ceramics Now’s goal is to make contemporary ceramics a more visible art field through editing publications and organizing exhibitions, workshops and lectures. The online platform and the magazine unites artists from different communities and facilitates idea exchange between them and the public.
The magazine is distributed in a network of libraries, galleries and institutions all over the world and can be bought online for $15. Ceramics Now is a non-profit organization created by a team of artists and students in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
The Paintbrush Factory is a contemporary art space located at 59-61 Henri Barbusse street.
Read more about the magazine / Download press release / Facebook event