Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Small Dose of Japan

One of the great things about staying in Kuching is the stimulation one gets from its many unending cultural events and happenings. Being the cultural capital of Sarawak it is the centre of many international shows and exhibitions. I saw one today when I returned books which I borrowed from the State Library ( Pustaka Negeri Sarawak ) at Petra Jaya which coincidentally was the venue of an exhibition featuring Japanese pottery. The exhibition was organised by the Japan Foundation. A total of 71 exhibits were on display by living artists and contemporary potters from Japan. I was amazed by the novelty of the creations in terms of shape, colour and innovative production methods that displayed much enhancement from its traditional roots and saw many that showcased newer creative forms that surpassed the border of functionalism to pure art ( Art for Art's sake?). In the picture inset above, the light bluish vase on the left with dimension 46x48.5x23 cm i.e Height x Width x Depth , showing curvaceous linear motifs with a spattered slip decor is the work of Simizu Ichiji , 1953- ). The slightly taller piece at the centre is the work of Ichino Masahiko ( 1961 - ) and is entitled ' Sound of the Wind' ( 60x37x34cm). On the far right is a unique vessel that resembled a huge seed to me with a slit through it end to end. This is a good example of the contemporariness of the works on show. The vessel ( 29x91x35.5 cm) of linear motif is the work of Ichino Masahiko too.
The white porcelain piece to the right has a bent and angular shape, very much like origami to me. What strikes me regarding the centre piece was the unconventional texture and colour of the thin glazed vessel. To get a good idea of the relative size of the pieces above, compare them with the one on the left which is the work of Sakai Hiroshi ( 1960 - ) . The very light blue colour vase is glazed and measures 44x45x45 cm.
Overall I was impressed by these ceramic artists who managed to successfully free themselves from the fetters of tradition and in the process able to create individualistic ceramic wares that are adapted to modern lifestyles.

1 comment:

Protege said...

I agree with you, the art and the ceramics look very modern.
I like the light colors, they are similar to what you use in your paintings.;)