King Houndekpinkou: Twin Soils: bridging Africa and Asia with clay, 2019
“Twin Soils: bridging Africa and Asia with Clay” springs from an ongoing cultural program called “Terres Jumelles” (Eng. “Twin Soils”) carried out by Franco-Beninese ceramic artist King Houndekpinkou. The project consists in creating official sister-cities between the ceramic/pottery towns of Benin (West Africa) and Japan, The twinning process involves the creation of hand printed ceramic slabs made out of the Beninese and Japanese clays (50/50) collected on the various sites that take part in the program.
Besides building cross-cultural understanding between Benin and Japan, the project helps promoting the economic, social and cultural development of the sites involved in the program, especially those located in the isolated and remote regions of Benin. Unlike Japan, whose ceramic culture enjoys a worldwide reputation, Benin is home to a pool of creators and artisans whose traditional and contemporary practices are little known outside of Benin and especially in Asia.
The exhibition showcases a unique case study about the role of ceramics in fostering cross-cultural understanding between Africa and Asia through seven artworks. Each piece is made out of clay collected along the project between the two geographic areas. It also shows that beyond form, technique and aesthetics, the field of ceramics can play an active role in initiatives of dialogue for peace between cultures.
Through a contemporary approach to ceramics, my work shows the beauty that appears when contradictory materials and different cultures blend together to become one. I strive to bring out the best of the cultural symbiosis between Benin and Japan as my contribution to the broader peace dialogue between nations.
Work exhibited at Incheon World Ceramic Center, Incheon, South Korea, as part of the Korean international Ceramic Biennale, 2019.
Photos courtesy of the artist. Captions:
- Melting Pot – Platinum Green, 2019, Green, yellow and silver glazed ceramics, Stoneware platinum luster, H. 20 x D.26 cm
- Cavilux – Fireworks Over The Cherry Blossoms, 2019, Pink and gold glazed ceramic, Stoneware, gold luster, H.20 x D.30 cm
- The Little Sea Widow: The Sea Shines at the Zenith of my, Sorrow II, 2019, Blue and silver glazed ceramics, Stoneware platinum luster, H.23 x D.25 cm
- The Widow of Light : Bleeding in While Shining Out… Free Yourself…, 2019, White and silver glazed ceramic, Stoneware platinum and gold luster, H.52,5 x D.36 cm
- The Widow of Light : Don’t Let this Gold Fool You, I’m Made of Darker Colors, 2019, Dimensions : H.54,5 x diam.37 cm, White stoneware from Westerwald (Germany), Betta village clay (Benin), Tamba stoneware (Japan), white glaze, golden luster.
- Twin Soils: bridging Africa and Asia with Clay, Incheon World Ceramic Center, Incheon, South Korea, 2019. © Korea Ceramic Foundation
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