Interview with Tanoue Shinya - Japanese ceramic artist represented by Keiko Gallery, October 2011
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Ceramics Now Magazine : What was the starting point in your investigation with ceramics? Do you remember your early works?
Tanoue Shinya: When I was a student of Theology at the Doshisha University, I also belonged to the ceramic club. I was just absorbed to make something with clay in the club’s room. I worked for some textile company for two years after the graduation, and I entered Kyoto Saga Art College because I wanted to learn more throwing techniques. I remember the pieces I made in the college very well. The pieces I’ve made in my freshman year are the origins of my current series.
KARA-10: Fu- a, 2010, Glazed clay, 7” x 26” x 4 1/2” (h) - View his works
Your works may be simple, but the details, the lines and curves of your works are very sinuous. Tell us about how do you construct your pieces.
After creating the vessel or sculpture’s shape with coil techniques, the slip is applied on the surface. And then I groove the surface with needles one by one and at the end I rub iron into those grooves.
The important theme of my pieces is the shell - egg shells, shells of fruits or seashells, because they are deeply related to the normal circles of life. The cobalt blue in the pieces represent the ocean, which is the origin of life on Earth. The wombs are consideres to be the shell of human beings, so if I could express in my pieces the memories of leaving the wombs (leaving forever the protective and comfortable feeling), it would be wonderful.
Tim Scull: Saggar Fired Vessels Blue Series