French gallery Perrotin is presenting GEIBI KAKUSHIN (“Aesthetic Innovation on Japanese Ceramic Art”), the first exhibition of ceramic art curated by Takashi Murakami to take place outside of Japan. The exhibition draws inspiration from and bears the same name as multi-faceted artist Kitaōji Rosanjin’s (1883-1956) essay, and seeks to manifest Rosanjin’s pursuit of originality and freedom in art, and reevaluation of tradition in ceramics to reinvent national cultural identity in postwar Japan. Six Japanese artists from all walks of life are featured including Shin Murata, Chiho Aoshima, Otani Workshop, Yuji Ueda, Aso Kojima, and Takuro Kuwata.
“Over the past fifteen years, I have been committed to a number of contemporary Japanese ceramic artists working in the vein of seikatsu kōgei, or lifestyle crafts, organizing their exhibitions, financially supporting their production, and collecting their work. Around 2005, when I started taking an interest in and acquiring ceramics, the world of seikatsu kōgei was at its most exciting, and the artists and their dealers seemed unconstrained and in good spirits. Seikatsu kōgei, in a nutshell, is a movement that attempts to reexamine the beauty of objects of everyday use and to reinterpret this beauty through handcrafting. Many of its proponents also call for environmental sustainability, with a hippieish sensibility,” Murakami comments on his relationship with ceramics.
Murakami’s passion has led him to compile a collection of over 30,000 ceramic works which have been on display at multiple locations in Japan since 2016. The artist also opened the ceramic store “Tonari no Murata” and “Tonari no Totya” in collaboration with ceramicist Shin Murata to help cultivate a secondary ceramics market. Known for his knowledge of bridging contemporary and pop art with high art, Takashi continues to use his deep expertise and knowledge to vitalize the ceramic art scene.
The GEIBI KAKUSHIN exhibition plays on classical ceramics transposed onto different eras and supports and interplays between two and three-dimensional surfaces. In one series, Murakami takes the quintessential blue and white fish pond ceramics from the Mongol Yuan dynasty, —the era in which blue and white porcelain ware was developed— and enlarges and flattens the motifs into large blue and white paintings. Other novel contemporary pieces range from practical to decorative, drawing from a variety of cultural, religious, pop culture, and traditional techniques and references.
The exhibition will take place from now until October 9 at the Perrotin Gallery in Paris.
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Elsewhere in art, Michael Kagan presents a space-faring “A7L HELMET” series.
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