A mask by Takashi Suzuki

The horrible days, the lazy days





In an event hosted by the Mori no Tenjishitsu gallery in Kyoto, I saw this theatre mask for the first time. On a rainy day, this mask laid peacefully on a fallen tree just like a timid wood elf. After bringing this elf home, I came to realize its true fluidity; no matter where I place it, be it my desk or a piece of rock, it can easily turn itself into a guardian angel of that very object — it simply brings out the soul of any inanimate object.

The works of Takashi Suzuki are exquisitely dreamy and fairy-tale-like. The teapot he made has a shape and color that resembles that of a color-pencil drawing, it could well be an object directly popped out from a picture book. The three-dimensional theatre mask has rather blurry facial features, but somehow its facial expression is so vivid that cannot be overlooked. Takashi Suzuki uses pottery to create a world distanced from the reality.

After visiting a couple of handicraft galleries, it is not difficult to figure out there is an underlying trick to bring attention to oneself, that is, by creating works that have a strong personality which can remind audience of wabi-sabi. Some quick examples would be to make a vase from junk wood, or to give an ironware a worn-out appearance. Takashi Suzuki had once struggled whether to fall into using the same trick, but then he still believes, “It is easy for cool and stylistic design to gain popularity, as everyone dreams of living a chic life. However, an actual life is one in which there are terrible days, and times when you simply want to slack off. Don’t you think so?”

There are terrible days and times when you just want to slack off. If Suzuki’s mask is indeed an elf, it must be an adorable one that is truly genuine and honest.