Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd. is presents an exhibition of Modern Japanese Ceramics focusing on Avant-garde sculpture on the occasion of the spring iteration of Asia Week New York, 2022. The show will be the first in-person iteration since 2020.
On view at Dai Ichi Arts’ Upper East Side gallery from March 1 to March 30, 2022, The exhibition spotlights several distinguished women sculptors who are part of a vanguard generation of highly influential post-war artists in Japan. It highlights the radical works of Tashima Etsuko 田嶋悦子(b. 1959), Shigematsu Ayumi 重 松あゆみ (b. 1958), Sakurai Yasuko 櫻井靖子 (b. 1969), Kishi Eiko 岸映子 (b. 1948), Suhama Tomoko 須 浜智子 (b. 1965), Matsuda Yuriko 松田百合子 (b. 1943), Kato Mami 加藤真美 (b. 1963), and Shingu Sayaka 新宮さやか (b. 1979). The exhibition shows on how female voices have understood the sculptural visual vocabulary & philosophies of the radical Sodeisha Movement in Japan, which was originally formed in the 1950s in opposition to the Mingei Folk-craft movement.
The modern pottery world can be outlined via two poles: the ceramic vessel and the ceramic object.The contrast between the vessel and the nonfunctional object coexist as legitimate practices of ceramic art in Japan, despite their opposing sensibilities. Within this polarity, the potter-artists Yagi Kazuo 八木 一夫 (1918–1979), Yamada Hikaru 山田光 (1923-2001), and Suzuki Osamu 鈴木治 (1926-2001) formed a movement that would take the nonfunctional object to new heights, propelling the professional identity of a potter into the realm of “artist”. Formed as a response and in opposition to Yanagi Soetsu 柳宗悦 (1889-1961)’s Mingei movement, which had an aesthetic proposition that elevated the status of the crafted vessel, the Sodeisha movement or ‘Crawling through Mud Association’, was formed by Yagi, Yamada, and Suzuki to elaborate upon the properties of sculpture in clay. In this context, the show also features works by the major founders of the post-war sculptural movement, as well as important ceramic artists who have been practicing for over 8 decades. The instrumental work of Hayashi Yasuo 林康夫 (b. 1928), Yamada Hikaru 山田光 (1923-2001), Suzuki Osamu 鈴木治 (1926-2001), Kumakura Junkichi 熊倉順吉 (1920-1985), Miwa Ryosaku 三輪龍作 (b. 1940), and Yanagihara Mutsuo 柳原睦夫 (b. 1934).
The title “Future Forms” highlights the 20th century admission of “Sculpture” as a legitimate category of expression in the ceramic world, and how the category has been evolved and reinterpreted by a van- guard feminist generation in the late 20th, and contemporary 21st century. It explores this theme via 4 material and visual properties of clay: Light & Shadow, Surface, Illusion, and Form.
The show features an exhibition catalogue “Future Forms: Avant-Garde Sculpture in Modern Japanese Ceramics”, published on the occasion of Asia Week NY featuring high-resolution images of artworks, and essays by director Beatrice Lei Chang. These essays elaborate upon the exhibition’s modern context and upon the visual themes above.