2011年09月24日

Visiting Tim Rowan

I had the pleasure of visiting talented American ceramic artist Tim Rowan on 9/11, and the trip was a refreshing excursion from the hustle and bustle of NYC, where I was staying to attend the opening of our Mihara Ken exhibition with Joan Mirviss.

Tim's home/studio is tucked behind the breathtaking backdrop of the luscious greens of forest and foilage. A bare stone cliff comprises a canvass for which his works colour, and the blending of nature and stoneware at once melts into the other.

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I first met Tim through a phonecall from Kakurezaki Ryuichi, the great Bizen potter who Tim had apprenticed to long ago. In fact, Tim is Kakurezaki-san's first and only foreign-born apprentice, and it is amazing to think that Tim had spent several years working under one of the living legends of Bizen. The reason why Kakurezaki-san called was that he thought Yufuku would be a perfect fit for Tim's work - yet as I had yet to see his works in person, I was slightly hesitant. It is my policy to never hold or promise to hold an exhibition of an artist that I have not yet first visited, as it is so important to the understanding of an artist to see and feel firsthand the environment in which he or she works in. Of course the art is paramount, but these details are just as important when wishing to create a relationship with an artist. As we nurture and grow with artists, the relationship is key. The same goes for Mihara-san, Nagae-san and younger artists such as Takeyama-san and Nishikata-san, for example.

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In any event, Tim is a wonderful, introspective artist with a great sensibility in form and firing. I look forward to working with him in the coming years, with a possible exhibition in either 2012 or 2013. Please stay tuned!

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From eastern skies,

Wahei Aoyama 青山和平
Yufuku Gallery/Toku Art

ps. If you haven't seen the Nishikata solo exhibition, please do! The works are incredible.
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