“Utsuwa” boom is coming! Now, young talented artists who will be at the center stage of the field of ceramics have emerged. I visited one of such artists, who is my friend, for her graduation exhibition held in Yokohama, Japan. All of her pieces are attractive with uniqueness and intelligence. Please do not miss the December issue of Vogue published on the 28th of this month (October) featuring female ceramic artists of the next generation!
The Venue, the “Ehrismann Residence”; what is it?
The Ehrismann Residence is located in a residential area spread to the Yamate area in Yokohama. This cute European-style building is the venue of the exhibition. About 100 years ago, it was a residence of the Swiss-born businessperson Fritz Ehrismann, who was the manager of the raw silk trade trading company. Since the wooden modern architecture by the Czech-born architect Antonin Raymond has been well reconstructed, there are many people visiting just to see the building itself. Besides the exhibition space, the building has a tea room surrounded by lots of trees All of these features of the venue increase the expectations for the exhibition!
A ceramic artist in the future!?
I always feel re-energized when I see my friends at the same age being active ; Kate is one of such friends of mine, who is more Japanese-like than a real Japanese could be. She came to Japan from the US and trained herself for ceramics in Kanazawa and Kamakura for more than three years to have the graduation exhibition today. Having mixed her American roots and the Japanese culture she experienced, she created the theme of the exhibition: “TEMPO”, which means…
Black mugs and white yunomis* *yunomi: Japanese-style tea cup (in Japanese)
Kate says, "Looking back on life in Japan, I feel like it was difficult to find the same tempo as the others surrounding me," “because here in Japan, people are living in the ‘event time’, which is different from the life in ‘clock time’ that I am familiar with back in the US, the Western world. ” She has realized the concept using black mug cups made of the black and the porcelain clays and white yumonis made of black makeup clay and the porcelain clay, representing the West and Japan, respectively. The gradient from black to white shows her perception of different time concepts.
Why are we attracted to Utsuwa?
Why are we attracted to Utsuwa? Of course, the reason depends on each person. Today, having visited the exhibition showing what Kate learned through her study, I am contemplating it again as one of the utsuwa lovers. Different from mass produced goods, each utsuwa that Kate made has its personality just like individual humans. Now, I am the fan No. 1 of Kate!