In Praise of Shadows01 Mar 2017 - 01 Apr 2017
'Junichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965) talked about Japanese aesthetics in architecture, crafts, food and art in his book ‘In Praise of Shadows’.
"The quality that we call beauty must always grow from the realities of life, and our ancestors, forced to live in dark rooms, presently came to discover beauty in shadows, ultimately to guide shadows towards beauty’s ends."
It was published in 1933. Because of the change of our lifestyle due to the development of technology, people travel long distances easily and the amount of information that we can access is far greater than a decade ago, I feel some of Tanizaki’s statements are perhaps not relevant to our present lifesytle, however, I feel my application of art, design and craft are still strongly based on the aesthetics he described in the book; such as indirect expression of objects and the art of impermanence.
When I make my ceramic ware, I pay more attention to the ‘signs’ of events that happened in the process. It can be a cracked surface that was pulled by the expansion and contraction of the material on the ceramic surface, the unevenness of the colour due to the change of atmosphere in the flame in my kiln, the impurity of the material that comes through to the surface in high heat etc. You think you are looking at the outcome of the events but what we are seeing is not the results of the objects but the forces that create these marks. This is the same mental process of looking at the shadow in order to enjoy the light.
During the process of mass production, commercial tableware are made in the conditioned environment that minimizes theses events and uneven forces. Thus, they have perfect consistency and stillness as domestic objects. This approach is economical and rational, however it can take the life away from the objects. There are no shadows that appear and disappear every time you look at it. There is only a fluorescent light permanently lit upon the object.
I am showing a variety of objects in this exhibition, from vigorously textured Moon Jars to small cups. They are all made with one principal in mind; in praise of shadows.'
Akiko Hirai, 2017
Medium Moon Jar2017StonewareH:43cm D:35cm£2,200
Small Moon Jar & Large Moon Jar2017stoneware with landscape inclusionsH:40 - 55cm D:35 - 53cm£1,500 (left), £3,500 (right sold)
Industrial Large Bowl2017StonewareH:20cm D:38cm£400
Iron Fluted Vase I & II2017StonewareH:25-30cm D:14-15cmSold
Kohiki Fluted Vase I & II2017StonewareH:24-27cm D:14-18cm£300 each
Small Tripod Vase, Large Tripod Vase & Pod Vase I2017StonewareH:14-17cm D:12-15cm£200 - £220
Sake Bottles & Sake Choco2017StonewareH:5.5-14cm D:6-10cm£120 (bottles) & £60 (chocos)
Fossil Plate II2017StonewareH:7cm D:40cm£300
Fossil Plate I2017StonewareH:6cm D:39.5cm£300
Fossil Plate III2017StonewareH:6cm D:38cm£300
Crackle Plate I2017StonewareH:6cm D:41cm£300
Crackle Plate II2017StonewareH:7cm D:43cm£400 - reserved
Large and Small Counting Plates2017StonewareD:18-26cm£60 - £80
Black and Ash Teabowl & Grey and Green Teabowl2017StonewareH:7-8cm D:13.5-14.5cm£200 each
Hakeme Korean Style Shallow Bowl2017StonewareH:7cm D:22cm£220
Large Korean Ash Bowls2017StonewareH:9cm D:21cm£240 each
Tile Vase I, II & III2017PorcelainH:6cm W:22cm D:2cm£220 each
Still Life Bottles and Yunomis2017StonewareH:7-25cm W:6-10cm£45 - £200
Iron Black Dobin Teapot2017StonewareH:23cm W:15cm£200
Dry Kohiki Dobin Teapot (Grey)2017StonewareH:23cm W:15cm£200
Ash Dobin Teapot2017StonewareH:23cm W:15cm£200
Dry Kohiki Jug & Dry Kohiki Milk Jug2017StonewareH:9-22cm D:7-17cm£65 - £220
Dry Kohiki Cereal Bowls (Cream & Grey)2017StonewareH:8cm D:9.5-13cm£80 each
Dry Kohiki Salad Bowl2017StonewareH:11cm W:20cm£120
Dry Kohiki Faceted Mugs2017StonewareH:8cm W:9.5cm£65 each (left sold)
Dry Kohiki Flower Cups2017StonewareH:8cm W:9.5cm£60 each (left sold)