2009年07月03日

The Ceramic Groves of Sugiura Yasuyoshi

01.jpg

Filled with shadows and shrubbery, a forest is a mystical place. Dark and imposing is its energies, and the same elements are imbued in the ceramic groves of Sugiura Yasuyoshi's (杉浦康益 1949- ) new work, currently on display at Yufuku Gallery.

sugiura yasuyoshi yufuku july 2009 001.jpg

For his debut exhibition at Yufuku, Sugiura presents the viewer with 3 new styles of works. One is his Kodachi (ceramic forest) series, which feature rippling, twisted branches of trees stacked up on top of one another. This work was first introduced to the general public in 2006 at the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale in 2006, yet our exhibition will be the first for Sugiura to bring this work within a context of a gallery space. "Strength in numbers" is one of Sugiura's mottos, and 50 or so of these groves spring from the air and nearly touch the ceilings of Yufuku.

sugiura yasuyoshi yufuku july 2009 009.jpg sugiura yasuyoshi yufuku july 2009 010.jpg

The 2nd new series that Sugiura introduces is his Kabe (wall) series, which were influenced by the decorated walls of the residential homes of the people of West Africa, in particular Burkina Faso.

sugiura yasuyoshi yufuku july 2009 004.jpg sugiura yasuyoshi yufuku july 2009 005.jpg

sugiura yasuyoshi yufuku july 2009 007.jpg sugiura yasuyoshi yufuku july 2009 006.jpg

One can almost feel the scorching sun and the dry red dust of the region in the works' rustic slip colors. The rudimentary, geometric shapes of the enameled designs are also drawn from Sugiura's African experience. These works are intended as sets in twos or threes, and are symbolic of an aesthetic simplicity that Sugiura has forgotten over the years with his pursuance of nature's complexities, as evident in his highly successful ceramic flowers.

A departure from traditions tried and tested is a gargantuan task for any artist. Sugiura, now 60, is already a well-established ceramist, and the veteran has a loyal following of collectors and is respected among the academics. Yet what is the virtue in endless repetition of mere technique? Where lies the urgency of now? I find that both immediacy and vitality are two aesthetic aspects that can be lost by an artist when creating the same styles over and over again. Sugiura had realized this, and it took a great leap of courage to want to break free from his own stylistic tendencies and create a new ceramic path.

sugiura yasuyoshi yufuku july 2009 016.jpg

Like the Kierkegaardian tale of Abraham, it is in fear and trembling that one is tested by the faith in his own aesthetics to move ahead and attempt to sacrifice Isaac, or in Sugiura's case, his ceramic flowers. Yet like the "knight of infinite resignation," Sugiura has mustered the courage to move ahead, and this, I believe, exhibits Sugiura's depth as an artist.

From his wall series, I find the highlight to be this set piece below.

sugiura yasuyoshi yufuku july 2009 014.jpg]

The pieces pulsate with a breezy freedom that is evident in the wet glow of the glazing. Unlike the other wall works, this set has been made using the technique of "kaki-otoshi," and the diamond motifs are far more laid back and loose. In a sense, the kohiki white slip and the kaki-otoshi technique is reminiscent of the slip work of Sodeisha's Yagi Kazuo.

Lastly, Sugiura creates yet another playful pile of works in his tsumiki (woodblock) series.

sugiura yasuyoshi yufuku july 2009 011.jpg sugiura yasuyoshi yufuku july 2009 013.jpg

Inspired by the parched red bricks he saw in Africa, each work is slightly different, with steps, bumps, belly-buttons and legs added to each clay block.

sugiura yasuyoshi yufuku july 2009 015.jpg

Fans of Sugiura could be seen picking and stacking block by block to ascertain which piece they would ultimately bring home with them.

Sugiura Yasuyoshi says that "the next 10 years of his career will be extremely important," as he intends to create works that will aptly mark the "curtain call" for his career as a ceramist. In this light, I believe his current Yufuku exhibition will be remembered as the turning point in his career. Sugiura's works continue to evolve, and I will not be surprised to see if his future finds him combining his various elements together to make an intriguing, vibrant symbiosis. Let us wait and see.

sugiura yasuyoshi yufuku july 2009 018.jpg
(Sugiura Yasuyoshi sitting with work)

From eastern skies,

Wahei Aoyama 青山和平
Toku Art Limited

P.S. I recently returned from the opening ceremony of the Paramita Museum Award Exhibition, where Yufuku artist Nagae Shigekazu (長江重和)has been nominated for the grand prize. Other nominees affiliated with Yufuku are Kishi Eiko (岸映子) and Ojiro Kaoru (小塩薫). I look forward to writing about the show in the month of July. Please stay tuned!
posted by Toku Art Limited at 13:38| 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
この記事へのコメント
コメントを書く
お名前: [必須入力]

メールアドレス: [必須入力]

ホームページアドレス:

コメント: [必須入力]

認証コード: [必須入力]


※画像の中の文字を半角で入力してください。
×

この広告は1年以上新しい記事の投稿がないブログに表示されております。