2009年06月30日

Conceptualizing Space - Sugiura Yasuyoshi's 1st Yufuku Exhibition

I extend my deepest gratitude to all the visitors to our recent exhibition of new works by Mihara Ken. Quite surprisingly in this economic climate, Mihara-san was able to achieve his 3rd consecutive show which has sold out (the other two being SOFA NYC and the Japan Ceramic Society Award exhibition, both in 2008). Congratulations to Mihara-san!

From his week, Yufuku Gallery and Toku Art will be proud to present our very 1st exhibition of new works by ceramic artist Sugiura Yasuyoshi (杉浦康益 1949- ), which opens on July 2nd at Yufuku Gallery and closes on the 11th.

Sugiura is oft associated with his ceramic flowers that are part of his "Ceramics of Natural History" series (see below).

sugiura koeki april 10 2008 019.jpg

This series is what captured the imaginations of many important ceramic collectors and critics such as Madame Kikuchi, owner of Musee Tomo, and Hayashiya Seizo, the leading ceramic critic today.

It was his ceramic flowers which placed Sugiura's name on the list of nominees for the Japan Ceramic Society Awards. Virtually every year in the past 5 years has Sugiura's name been mentioned as a key nominee, and in fact, he received the 2nd highest number of votes in 2005 (which was won by Ichino Masahiko) and in 2008 (won by Mihara Ken). Coincedentally, both artists are represented internationally by Yufuku.

This consecutive string of defeats, in a sense, was a deep disappointment to the artist. Yet this year, Sugiura returns to the ceramic stage with his first exhibition at Yufuku Gallery. Should the viewer expect more flowers? Far from it.

Rather, this show marks the first time that he will be displaying his large-scale and symbolic "Ceramic Forest" series within the context of a gallery space. This series was one of the highlights of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial held in Niigata Prefecture in 2006 (see below), and the artist just recently rebuilt this gigantic installation for the 2009 Triennial, which opens next month.

kaze_k.jpg

This work took approx. 2 weeks to stack each and every ceramic "block" that represent a grove or cluster of ceramic trees. Sugiura asked the current students of his alma mater, the prestigious Tokyo University of Arts, to help him in this greatly ambitious outdoor installation, and the results were stunning.

Each block is colored differently, and looks like this up-close.

sugiura koeki March 11 2009 024.jpg

For the first time, he will be exhibiting these works indoors within the gallery floor of Yufuku. The energy that will fill the walls of the gallery will be quite intense, and I believe will be a highlight of Japanese contemporary "conceptual ceramics." In a sense, the division between fine art and craft art are not only blurred but shattered in the works of the artist.

Yet not only this, Sugiura plans to exhibit a brand new series of works at his upcoming exhibition, entitled the "ceramic wall" series. This series is inspired by the sights and sounds of Africa, where he spent a great deal of time traveling in 2008. A glimpse of what is to come can be seen in the images below.

sugiura koeki March 11 2009 009.jpg sugiura koeki March 11 2009 008.jpg

These are yet unfired and incomplete works, yet one can grasp a feel for Sugiura's latest direction. We hope you will join us in celebrating Sugiura's new ceramic path from this Thursday. For previews of Sugiura's contemplative new works, please contact us at info@toku-art.com.

From eastern skies,

Wahei Aoyama 青山和平
Toku Art Limited

ps. Upcoming articles will feature a recent visit to Tamba's Ichino Masahiko, who will be having a solo show at Yufuku in November, and a close-up of Sakurai Yasuko's studio. Sakurai will be having her next solo exhibition at Yufuku in March 2010.
posted by Toku Art Limited at 21:54| Comment(0) | Sugiura Yasuyoshi (Ceramics) | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする
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