In conversation with Oishi Sayaka:
You may find some parts are organic motifs, while others are not. Some forms are imaginary while others are realistic. Guns, human hands, moss, and plates are mixed together. This chaos makes some viewer uncomfortable she says.
As an island nation, Japan imported foreign culture and transformed it into their own. They go to temple, shine, and church for different occasions and have no religious problem. In Shinto, they believe that there are eight million different gods in the world. In this polytheistic culture, bad and good, light and darkness coexist. And Oishi's work is rooted in this culture deeply.
"Among this ceramic series, Oishi's works are greatly different from many other works in that she develops her decoration consciously."
-- DAICHO Tomohiro
(The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto Curator)
Decoration is a main theme for Oishi Sayaka throughout her career. She told me that she believes that decoration was used to convey human emotions before written language (think about Jomon ware). It still is to this day. Or even more so, as it expresses delicate emotions that words cannot convey.
As growing up in a rural area, Oishi that nature is inclusive and that it has its rules of perfect beauty such as symmetry, fractal, the Fibonacci sequence. The beauty of nature are results of necessary survival. It is meaningful and convincing.
She studied and tries to apply such rules to her work, so that it reaches to people who doesn't share the same language as her. Her decorations are as raw as her emotions, and at the same time well calculated and elaborated.
In conversation with Suzuki hideaki
In Japan there is the saying that there is a "universe in a bowl."
Suzuki Hideaki creates his universe in his vessels. He does not make them for people to use, but to enjoy as an art piece. Still, his pieces challenge the collectors. Imagine how his plates pop up among other plane plates! As a person who loved American pop art, Japanese esthetic movie, and literature, ceramics felt like a distant world. However, when he was trying to find his way of living, ceramic seemed to be something reachable. He ended up learning in traditional ceramic site Kutani which is known for enamel, and then later also in Minnesota. He told me that Kutani gave him tools, and those few years of American art education made him realize that idea is more important than technique.
In his mandala-like drawing, you can see all kinds of pattern: traditional, realistic, abstract, comical... He would use anything in order to achieve his goal.
When he sees natural forms he cannot stop wondering: why does a leaf have such a complicated pattern of veins? how those wasps construct a nest like that? He sees not only beauty but the spirituality in those nature form. He is trying to put spirituality into pop art.
He uses Kutani enamels, over glazes, liquid gold, and gold and silver leaf. He would use gold a lot to create the festive feeling. The shining effect as if the light is reflecting on water is created by those gold or silver leaf underneath overglaze. In order to fix them, he has to fire several times. Between each firing, he puts some new patterns without plan. He wants to surprise himself, so he does many collaboration works, too.