⟨ Craft ⟩

Tetsuya Ozawa

Those fireworks in his laughter.

Words / Jas Tse
Photography / Kimio Ng
Interpretation / Kui Lai Chiu
Translation / Iris Heung

他的白有種不全然是靜的美。用砂紙拭擦而留下的刮痕在旋轉,高溫燒陶時綻放的裂紋恣意鋪展,還有些剝落。那些都不能說是安靜,或者說噪動更貼合。

我盯著杯子良久,指尖在杯身摩挲,開始想像一個人在一片白上如何塗繪,如同觀看他的眉額,一顰一笑,氣息如何起伏。

店主Wallis記得第一次看到的震撼:「大澤的白器具有種飽經風霜的感覺。」

The whiteness he creates is not the typical kind of absolute serenity. There are scratches of swirl patterns created by sandpaper, as well as cracks randomly developed during the firing process. In fact, there are even some chipped parts too. These features can be better-called disruption than serenity.

I stared at the cup for quite a while, and rubbed my fingertips against the cup, beginning to imagine how a person paints on a white surface. I had a feeling that I could almost observe even the slightest change in his facial expression and his mood.

The shop owner Wallis can still remember how fascinated she felt when she first saw Ozawa’s pottery, “His white potteries really look like they have gone through a lot of ups and downs in life.”

粉引這種古老工藝,是將白色的陶土(稱作白化妝土)塗在陶器上,燒製後會隱約透出底裡的土色,也會浮現泥土的顆粒感。不如白瓷潔白,看起來甚至髒髒的。「我喜歡把陶器做成不完美的樣子,隨著使用添上痕跡。當大家每天使用,就像養著它一樣,很有意思。」大澤的粉引器具,有近似油畫的質地,便想起他最喜歡的畫家是Mark Rothko。「他的畫非常寧靜,很能深入內心。我做陶時也抱持著這種意識,希望做到這種意境。」

或者是作品裡那種野生印象很強烈,在面前坐得筆直的大澤哲哉,反倒有點意外地踏實又坦率。「那時候學校會要我們有自己想法去做出屬於自己的東西,我就會困惑會想,我到底是什麼人、我有什麼想做。直到看到有人做食器,那是被人使用的東西,我就覺得這是個很大的理由去創作了。」

Powder coating(こひき)is an old technique of applying white clay onto ceramic ware. After the firing process, the original clay color beneath is still visible, also exposing the rough texture of the clay on the surface. The white color is far from pure as it looks somewhat dirty. “I prefer to give my ceramics an imperfect appearance and let them evolve from daily usage. It is very interesting to see how prolonged use would alter them.” Ozawa’s potteries possess the texture of an oil on canvas painting; this reminds me of his favorite painter Mark Rothko. “His paintings are very serene, they can reach the core of your heart. This is the same thing I bear in mind when making my ceramics. I wish I could achieve that conceptual state too.”

Quite contrary to the strong sense of wildness in his potteries, his sitting posture was very uptight as we met. He was, to my surprise, down to earth and earnest. “Back in my school days, we were instructed to create based on our own ideas. I was struggling to understand what kind of person was I, what did I want to do. Then one day I saw someone making tableware. These are things that are made to be used, I finally got my motivation to create.”

食器著重使用,跟純藝術有點不同。「做陶的時候我也會反覆提醒自己別加太多個人想法。」在創作意識上,刻意拉開距離其實是留給使用者去演繹,如何去用、盛載什麼又會放在哪個地方、然後用成哪種狀態。就像展覽當天,Wallis用大澤的一個杯子盛著小盆栽,但看起來其實你不會覺得那本來是個杯子。

在製作前他會在想像裡用感官演練,或以回憶描摹。「咀唇是很敏感的部位,在很小的時候就有觸摸不同食器的記憶。」其中一個大澤製作的茶杯,有著微微向外彎的邊緣,乍看不易察覺,但喝起來時嘴唇最後停留在杯緣的自然動作,這種親密也曾存在於他細微的想像裡。

Different from fine arts, tableware emphasizes on the usage. “When making ceramics, I would keep reminding myself not to put too much of my personal thoughts into my work.”  As a designer, Ozawa deliberately distances himself from the product so as to leave more room for the users to interpret. They can decide on how to use it and the nature of the purpose, they are free to put the products anywhere in whatever ways they prefer. Wallis has also demonstrated the liberty of a user in the exhibition by using a cup made by Ozawa to contain a mini plant. Simply by looking at the display, viewers probably would not be aware it was basically a cup.

Before the hands-on making process, Ozawa likes to rehearse by using his imagination or his memories. “Lips are sensitive parts of our body. They retain memories of being in contact with different tableware from as early as our childhood.” One of the teacups he made has a rim that tilts slightly outward. The curve is not visible to the naked eye, but the intimate sensation of the rim staying on the lips is what Ozawa wanted to have before producing this cup.

大澤生於岐阜縣多治見市,現居愛知縣常滑市,他的器具就是用常滑的黑泥做基底。「常滑有過千年的陶藝歷史,而為何會這樣呢,我覺得不是這個地方想變成這樣才變成這樣的,都有它的因由。我常常覺得做一件事時,要從自己身分的必然性去想。」出生在這裡、在這裡成長、遇到些什麼,他相信全有它的意義。

「我覺得不是我這個人站在這個時間點做了這件事,而是背後有好幾千年歷史,我只剛好是其中一部分。」

常滑其實是個很寧靜的鄉郊,沒有太多娛樂,環境上可能給了創作更多專注的時間,然而他卻不安於重複,因為師傅與前輩常提醒他要面向世界。「師傅以前常對我說,不要只看著陶器去做,也不要只看著想要做到的陶器去做,而要多涉獵其他形式的藝術,建築、繪畫、雕刻、音樂什麼都可。將感覺到的,再放到陶藝裡。也別只看日本人的作品,要看世界。」

「如眼前這個碗代表的只是這刻的我。比起帶著強烈個人意識,我更想做出可以跟別人分享的東西。」

Ozawa was born in Tajimi of Gifu Prefecture but is now residing in Tokoname of Aichi Prefecture. His ceramics are made with the black clay from Tokoname, “Tokoname has over a thousand year of history of pottery production. But how did this happen? I don’t think it was planned. Everything happens for a reason. To me, I need to think of the nature of myself as a person when working on anything.” Ozawa believes there is a specific significance behind everything, from the place he was born and grew up in, to the events he encountered in his life.

“It is not as simple as me doing something at this precise moment; behind whatever I did, there are always thousands of years of history, I am only part of the whole picture.”

Tokoname is located in quiet countryside that does not provide many entertainment options. It might be an ideal environment for one to stay focused, but Ozawa would not limit himself to a repetitive life. His teacher and mentors always remind him to widen his horizon, “My teacher used to tell me not to limit myself to ceramics or to only think of the ceramic wares that I would like to make; he suggested me to try other forms of art, like architecture, drawing, sculpture or anything. Afterward, I can apply the emotion I have from these art forms into my ceramic art. He also told me not to focus only on arts made by Japanese, I need to lay my eyes on the bigger world out there.”

“This bowl that we’re looking at is merely a representation of my current state. Instead of showing a strong sense of personality in my ceramic arts, I would rather make things that others can identify with.”

剛開始會問的:「我到底是什麼人、我有什麼想做。」他大概已經自己找到了解答。

在大澤回去之後,我不斷想起的,是他後來更自若的神情,放鬆時很閃亮的雙眼,聊天時整個人手舞足蹈的,或像火花般一下綻開的大笑,那個模樣卻最令我想起他的作品。好像,就是這些火光迸發而來的。那種野生的,自由的,屬於很直覺式的東西。其實已滲進作品去。

「我覺得只看自己內心可能無法找到什麼。」然而不看內心,就可能什麼都沒找到了。

Perhaps Ozawa already has an answer to his earlier doubt of “who am I, what do I want to do”.

After saying goodbye to Ozawa, I kept thinking of his composed facial expression. The twinkle in his eyes when he felt relaxed, his excited body movement when talking, the fireworks in his laughter… among all of these, his laughter can best remind me of his ceramics. It feels like the ceramic wares were made from those fireworks that were coming out from his laughter. The wildness of his free soul and the way he follows his instinct can all be seen in his tableware.

“I think maybe nothing can be found if I only listen to my own heart.” But what else can you see if you ignore your heart?

大澤A Beautiful Store的展覽雖已結束,但店裡仍會販售他的作品,歡迎大家親身摸摸看。
Ozawa‘s exhibition has ended but his works are still available in A Beautiful Store.

A Beautiful Store
3/F, 194 Prince Edward Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong