Featured image: Tea Bowl 2013 – Takuro Kuwata – photo by Kenji Takahash courtesy of Kosaku Kanechika (Phaidon, 2017)
The principles of critical regionalism and tectonics that I’ve been exploring over the last few months are visible in ceramic practice, one example is Takuro Kuwata who uses traditional Japanese materials and skills in a contemporary way (Smith, I, 2017). He pushes the boundaries of the technical capabilities of glaze and colour, on top of the traditional tea bowl form.
The tea bowls display the concept of Hybridity, using vivid glazes and textures from his every day palette of a big city: advertising hoardings and neon lights, the tea bowls form follows the formal, traditional method made for generations.
I want to further explore hybridity, a concept I came across in relation to Japanese weaving techniques, mixing tradition with new technology.
Wabi-sabi aesthetics are evident in his work, illustrating asymmetry and imperfection in form. He also incorporates stones into his work, in a technique called ishi-haze (stone explosion) traditionally used in the making of tea ceramics but distorts the process using larger stones than usual that he allows to melt or explode. I look forward to exploring the full range of techniques that he utilises at a later date.
Photo credit: Ceramic Review, 288, pp. 14
SMITH, I., November/December 2017. Psychedelic Ceramics. Ceramic Review, 288, pp. 12-16.