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Takashi Murakami’s interpretation of ceramics

Superflat Consideration on Contemporary Ceramics

Words / Ron Lam
Translation / Iris Heung

村上隆這幾年在日本再度火紅起來,卻不是因為他的新藝術創作,而是由於他對陶藝的熱情。

村上隆在2011年於東京中野區創辦了陶藝及古董商店Oz Zingaro,在日本吹起民藝風,而國外對於如信樂燒等能表現侘寂的精神的陶藝大為吹奉的時候,村上隆卻嘗試以現代藝術的視點,發掘能展現當代日本陶藝世界的藝術家。村上隆有著點石成金的力量,村田森、小嶋亞創、大谷滋等都是由他帶進世界舞台的藝術家。這些藝術家有的創作實用的陶瓷器皿,有的造雕塑,風格不同,但同樣地秉承傳統卻不守常規。

陶藝在藝術界別中的身份一直瞹眛不明,尤其是陶藝器皿,有人視之為需考慮使用者的工藝品,有人卻認為在在泥土與火炎之間,仍然流露出陶藝家的個人精神。千利休、柳宗悅都曾為日本陶藝下定論,來到當代,村上隆嘗試追踪日本陶藝的脈絡,展現他看到的日本陶藝的未來。

在青森縣的十和田市現代美術館,現正舉辦由村上隆策劃的陶藝展〈Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Consideration on Contemporary Ceramics〉,展出他收藏的三百多件陶藝品。在這個展覽之中,我們將會看到陶藝的全新定義。

Takashi Murakami has returned to the spotlight again in Japan in recent years. Interestingly, this time it is not about his new art work, but his passion for ceramics.

In 2011, Murakami founded a ceramics and antique shop in Nakano in Tokyo. The shop, which is called Oz Zingaro, succesfully brought the folk crafts culture back to Japan. While pottery that has a strong emphasis on wabi-sabi like Shigaraki Ware is well acclaimed in countries outside of Japan, Murakami chose to go against the trend. Using the perspective of contemporary arts, he delves into the possibility of promoting contemporary worldview of Japanese pottery. It is undeniable that Takashi Murakami has the Midas touch; artists like Shin Murada, Asou Kojima and Shigeru Ohtani all got their international fame with the help of Murakami. Some of these artists create practical ceramic containers, and some others make sculpture. Although their styles are rather distinctive, all of them manage to embrace the traditional culture without being confined by it.

Pottery has always lingered in an ambiguous position in the world of art. The situation is even more of a dilemma for ceramic containers. Some treats it as a handicraft that serves its user, but other believes there is still room for a potter to express his or her personality in between clay and fire. Sen no Rikyū and Yanagi Sōetsu are historical figures who once attempted to define Japanese pottery; moving forward to the contemporary scene, Murakami intends to trace its root and evolvement, and to exhibit what he believes to be the future of Japanese pottery.

Towada Art Center in Aomori Prefecture is currently hosting a ceramics exhibition curated by Takashi Murakami. Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Consideration on Contemporary Ceramics displays more than 300 pieces of his personal collection. The exhibition brings to its audience a new definition of ceramics.