2008年06月27日

Light and Shadows -Sakurai Yasuko and the Space Between Space

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Sakurai Yasuko's (櫻井靖子 1969- ) conceptual porcelain, currently on display at Yufuku Gallery, is infectiously intoxicating, and for all the right reasons. Dotted with holes and gaping crevasses, Sakurai, in a sense, captures a ripple in the continuum between time and space, and most importantly, creates an ensuing tension between the eternal elements of light and shadows. Her very muse is the age-old struggle between these two qualities, and what binds light and shadows together is space itself, materialized in the shape of a hole. A hole, in essense, is a portal between one side to the other, and it is a portal which transmits light to the other side. Yet when light pours in, what pours out is its antithesis -shadows. This tension is what captivates Sakurai, and ultimately, her fans. For her works are the embodiments of the very space between space itself, and like a sea of black holes, sucks the viewer in. Sakurai's porcelain works have an unparalleled gravity that not only warps light, but our hardened preconceptions of ceramics.

Technically, her works are -rather deceptively- a feat of genius. One may assume that hand pinching, for example, helps her make these boney fossils of porcelain. This is far from truth. Rather, her technique involves the brilliant idea to dig out her forms from a bound parade of unfired porcelain pipes smothered in porcelain slip. Thus the "holes" that remain are actually not holes, but the inner regions of the pipes that have not been carved out and left behind by Sakurai. The holes are the only evidence that remains to suggest that a pipe had been there at all.

In a sense, Sakurai Yasuko "searches" for her work through this process of carving before firing. It reminds me of my friend Nishida Jun (西田潤 1977-2005), who had physically "excavated" his gigantic ceramic objects from a bedrock of porcelain glaze. Interestingly enough, Sakurai and Nishida both graduated from Kyoto's Seika University, and I have a hunch that their similarities may stem from this background. But I digress.

In any case, Sakurai's current show clearly displays the culmination of the artist's technique, and is a highly recommended sight for porcelain lovers the world over.

Sakurai is bravely pursuing porcelain in a manner no other artist has treaded before, and slowly but surely, she is garnering the recognition she deserves. Light and shadows coalesce in perfect harmony within the works of Sakurai Yasuko. Gravitas indeed.

From eastern skies,

Wahei Aoyama 青山和平
Toku Art Limited


See the entire exhibition here.

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posted by Toku Art Limited at 13:15| Comment(2) | Sakurai Yasuko (Kyoto) | 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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