Tomio Koyama Gallery is pleased to present “My Favorite Things,” an exhibition of new works by ceramic artist Yuko Okazaki.
Focusing on “good old things” which are important elements for the artist, the exhibition presents a selection of works that demonstrate new frontiers within her oeuvre, produced through paying homage to the ceramics of China, Korea, and Northern Europe that she has admired and familiarized herself with since childhood, and sublimating them by means of her own interpretation.
【About Yuko Okazaki: Embodying an “Enriching Life with Ceramics”】
Yuko Okazaki was born in 1976 in Tokyo. After working in public relations at Issey Miyake Co., Ltd. from 1997 to 2000, she studied under ceramic artist Eiichi Morita in the city of Kasama, which has been a home for pottery in Japan for centuries. Having undergone four and a half years of training, Okazaki completed the glazing/gypsum course at the Ibaraki Pottery Training Center (now Kasama College of Ceramic Art). She commenced her independent practice in 2007, setting up her own studio in Yokosuka, where she currently continues to work.
Her refreshing and heart-warming works that feature motifs from nature such as plants, flowers, and dragonflies, her bold decision to become a ceramic artist following her remarkable career, and her mindful everyday lifestyle, have garnered much attention from the media.
“Everything in life is the source of my creativity; and spending my day-to-day calmly without losing sight of myself, is the most important in building the foundations of my practice.”
(Yuko Okazaki, Vessels, From Hand to Hand, Shufu to Seikatsusha Co., Ltd., 2010)
As exemplified by these words, Okazaki herself embodies an “enriching life with ceramics,” and it is this very outlook and perspective that continues to fascinate many people.
【About the New Works: Delicate Blue Hues, Plants and Flowers, and Dynamic Geometric Patterns Create New Memories of Overlapping Moments in Time】
The new works presented focus on the concept of historicity and overlapping moments in time, which serve as important roots in Okazaki’s oeuvre.
Drawing upon her admiration for Chinese antiques, the refreshing blue glaze that Okazaki employs in these works is made from “Gosu” (a blue pigment that has been used in blue and white pottery since ancient times). The plants and flower patterns bear subconscious ties to violets and pansies that she had loved as a child, and are depicted in a bolder yet more elaborate manner than ever before. The geometric patterns that she has newly incorporated into her works are inspired by Northern European ceramics, and extend throughout the pieces together with subtle gold accents.
Since childhood, Okazaki found herself growing up surrounded by “good old things” from both the East and the West, thus allowing her to cultivate her fresh and viridescent sensibility.
Okazaki recalls the ceramics of Shoji Hamada to Kanjiro Kawai, Stig Lindberg, Royal Copenhagen, and so forth that she had encountered in her parents’ and grandparents’ homes, as well as the memories of using them, and the thoughts that had crossed her mind in purchasing them. The emotions and impressions she experienced at these times are an impetus for the production of her ceramics, enabling her to create new works that while carefully incorporating elements she expresses a “personal fondness for,” come to take on distinct forms “like never seen before” as a result of her own current perspective.
Such works appear to be interwoven with memories and moments in time, as well the artist’s innocent feelings of awe and excitement experienced during her encounters with nature and remarkable masterpieces. Her oeuvre is in essence, the crystallization of the events that she has accumulated thus far.
Tradition and innovation—the new works created by Yuko Okazaki on this occasion will be used by various people, and as a result, will give birth to new memories. We hope viewers will take this opportunity to bear witness to the artist’s new endeavours.
For press inquiries, please contact: email@example.com (Makiko Okado)