photo: WATANABE Osamu

Form-0811: Twisting Back, Multiplying

ArtistNAKASHIMA Harumi
Material/ Techniqueporcelain
Size/ DurationH69×W67×D39cm
Copyright Notice© NAKASHIMA Harumi
Year of acquisition/ donation2011
DescriptionBorn in Gifu, Japan in 1950. Lives and works there.

Nakashima encountered YAGI Kazuo and the artists of Sodeisha while at Osaka University of the Arts, and began producing ceramic objects. Upon graduating, he worked at a Shigaraki ceramics company, then obtained employment at Tajimi City Pottery Design and Technical Center. Since 2003, he has taught ceramic arts as a professor at Aichi University of Education. Nakashima’s creations arise from the qualities he discovers in the clay during the production process, as well as from the distinctive materiality of pottery and the processes by which clay becomes ceramics. On this basis, he produces strikingly original works of multiplying polka-dot spheres.

This is a work from the “Twisting Back, Multiplying” series Nakashima embarked on in 2007. Although made of hard ceramic material, his works formally evoke growing, self-propagating life forms. Nakashima does not work from drawings when creating his forms. Rather, adding clay little by little, he hand-forms the body – working in close rapport with the clay material – and strives to reveal an image latent within him. This method enables him to create ceramic forms that seem to grow upward. When first embarking on such work, Nakashima was coating the clay with a white slip, but from around 2001, he came to employ porcelain instead. Producing an object using porcelain, which easily shrinks and deforms, became a struggle with the material, as implied by the title of his previous series, “Struggling Forms.” By employing a white surface of greater transparency and a thin ceramic edge, however, he has achieved an overall sense of tension. In appearance, the works suggest human beings, struggling to keep their balance but foiled by their own absurdity.