Sakiyama Takayuki and Fukumoto Fuku / Joan B Mirviss, New York
June 10 - August 22, 2014
Sakiyama Takayuki: Tidal Forms
Sakiyama Takayuki (b. 1958) continues to expound on his series: Chōtō - Listening to the Waves. Focusing now on the power of the ocean, the artist created these highly sculptural ceramic works to evoke the sublime nature of the waves and currents.
Sakiyama continues to mine the rugged coastline and beaches of his home on the Izu Peninsula for inspiration. The surfaces of his strikingly unique centrifugal forms give the appearance of having been made from sand. A special glaze that he developed highlights the intricate designs, which the artist achieves by carving the clay. Moving and receding across the surface, the texture also echoes raked Zen Gardens. These substantial double-walled vessels maintain true to their functional origins while conveying a highly sculptural quality.
Sakiyama’s place is firmly established in the canon of modern Japanese ceramics. Several of the artist’s vessels were recently featured in publications and exhibitions at major U.S. museums including: Through the Seasons: Japanese Art in Nature, Stone Hill Center, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA; Fired Earth, Woven Bamboo: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics and Bamboo Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Betsy and Robert Feinberg Collection: Japanese Ceramics for the Twenty-first Century, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
Additionally, the artist’s work can currently be seen in Evolution of Chinese Ceramics and Their Global Influence, a rotating installation on the Great Hall Balcony of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Fukumoto Fuku: Lunar Forms
A leading participant in the second generation of female ceramists to change the landscape of contemporary Japanese clay, Fukumoto Fuku (b. 1973) draws inspiration from the heavens: the moon, sun, and stars, and has achieved great recognition for her ethereal porcelain sculpture.
Thinly walled, each wheel-thrown form is delicately positioned within another slightly larger vessel and fixed into position during the final firing by the melded glaze. Renowned for her throwing ability, Fukumoto is able to create forms that appear fragile and light that are in fact, though thinly walled, both strong and vibrant. The soft radiant white of the unglazed porcelain is highlighted by brightly colored, shiny glazes in varying tones of blue ranging from teal to powder blue that cover one surface of each of the stacked elements.
Fukumoto uses the medium as her guide through the artistic process. Her forms arise from a reaction to the behavior of the clay during the throwing process. She stresses how this aspect of improvisation is the cornerstone of her methodology:
“While working, I am keen to let my eyes find new discoveries, which turn the process itself into an adventure of ongoing experimentation. The image is born from within the process with every turn of the wheel, and I must always react and remain attentive to the clay’s shape and its changing condition. The form and image arise gradually, from one step of the process to another, and give birth to new creation.”
Born into a family of textile artists, Fukumoto received her MFA from Kyoto City University of Arts, where she studied under celebrated ceramic sculptor Akiyama Yō. Her works were featured in the seminal exhibition Soaring Voices-Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists, which traveled extensively to museums both in the U.S. and abroad from 2007-2012. Currently, her work is on display in Evolution of Chinese Ceramics and Their Influence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition to being actively sought after by private collectors, her works have also been acquired by American museums.