Yô Akiyama exhibition / ARTCOURT Gallery, Osaka, Japan
December 3, 2013 - January 25, 2014
Yo Akiyama established his signature style of sculptural ceramic creation while still in school. His creative mind lies beneath the awareness by facing the nature and energy of clay, expressed through large scale works. We are excited to introduce Akiyama’s new works in this exhibition showcasing the roots, that is the artery of Akiyama’s powerful creation as well as Akiyama’s now as his next step in his career.
Akiyama’s early works were mysterious objects created through black pottery. His student works done in black pottery show influences from primitivism that he was interested in, modern sculptors such as Brâncuşi and Arp, and his professor Kazuo Yagi, but yet to discover his own expression or concept through clay. Those early pieces are gone; however, Akiyama recalls that he can see the presence of Akiyama that has lead to himself now. This discovery lead him to the new set of works, in which the artist re-creates his early black pottery works with his current skillsets and by revisiting his own 1970s. Akiyama titled this new challenge of regenerating or redeveloping his roots “Incubation” (or Houran no Katachi in Japanese) and introduces about 10 new pieces in this exhibition.
Akiyama developed several series of works that express the ever-changing shape of earth with unique creative challenges such as nature vs. human, birth vs. decay, internal vs. external by fusing the phenomenon of soil and thoughts on creation. The series titled “Metavoid,” which began in 2003, puts focus on an enclosed space where objects intervene and how we perceive such space. Akiyama would make a large bowl on a potter’s wheel, then reverse its inside and outside. This act brings a change in spatial relation of the bowl and the space it holds within (the void). The artist would then place this bowl in an even larger vessel – an exhibition space, the other void. Akiyama uses clay as a vehicle to explore physical shapes to his pursuit ranging from multi-layered texture in motion to human perception of space. We are introducing 5 new large scale pieces ranging from 100 cm to 180 cm from the series “Metavoid.”
Akiyama began making a series of slabs with prints of spider webs as his side work around 1993 where the artist began to depart from his signature black pottery works. The series captured the natural beauty of spider webs Akiyama found almost every morning around his home from early summer to fall. About 50 creations from this series will gather in our gallery for public viewing for the first time. They can be seen as an organic map that connects the roots and current of Akiyama’s creation.
This exhibition offers visitors the physical experience of Akiyama’s thoughts on creation, or his easygoing point of view that pottery is “small remarks made of a piece from mother nature” and goes beyond the boundaries of ceramic art as a genre. This is the first solo exhibition in 4 years at ArtCourt Gallery since Akiyama won the 17th MOA Mokichi Okada Award in Craft and the 52nd Mainichi Art Award for the self titled “Yo Akiyama Exhibition” in 2009.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday, 11:00 am - 7:00 pm; Saturday, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm.
OAP ARTCOURT 1F, 1-8-5 Tenmabashi, Kita-ku
Osaka-shi, Osaka, 5300042
Above: Yô Akiyama, Metavoid 21, 2013, Ceramics, 25x157x68 cm.