Yasutaka Baba was born in 1991 in Hasami, Nagasaki Prefecture, as the oldest son of a family-run pottery in a locale renowned for porcelain production since the 1600s. He graduated from Tajimi City Pottery Design and Technical Center in 2017. Baba has been making porcelain sculptures comprised of thousands of porcelain blocks and silhouettes reminiscent of futuristic skyscrapers that buzz with facades of fevered intensity, attempting to move the tradition of porcelain in Hasami foreword to a new aesthetic within porcelain.
His works have been presented in several international art fairs: Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary, USA (’18), TEFAF Maastricht, The Netherlands (’19, ’20), and Art Miami, USA (’18), among others. His first solo exhibition was held at Yufuku Gallery in Tokyo, Japan, in 2019. Subsequently, his second solo show was conducted in Ishoken Gallery, Tajimi, Gifu Prefecture, Japan, in 2020.
In 2016, Baba was selected for the Triennale of Kogei in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. Moreover, he won the Bronze Prize at the International Ceramics Festival Mino, Gifu Prefecture, in 2017 and received the Kumamoto Broadcasting Prize at the Arita International Ceramics Competition, Saga Prefecture, in 2018. His work is in the collection of the Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, Germany and Toshin Mino Ceramic Art Museum, Japan.
In pursuit of the elemental essence of porcelain’s natural beauty, Baba’s ‘elemental forms’ are mesmerizing odes to the sheer power and imagination of contemporary Japanese ceramics. After drawing a blueprint of his intended object, he first cuts out stencils that help him create the structural foundations for his sculptures. Then, after cutting out thousands of little rectangular porcelain blocks of varying sizes, Baba attaches each piece, one by one, upon his damp clay surfaces in a random fashion. After drying, the work is fired in an electric kiln at 1240 degrees Celsius for 15 hours.
Yasutaka Baba’s profile was created with the participation of A Lighthouse called Kanata, Tokyo.
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