More info on this? A visitor's favorite
Porcelain and ceramic arts are popular in Japan today. This artist, Kato Tsubusa, purposely works with clays that are difficult to manipulate so the material itself plays a role in the final outcome of the work. In fact, he rips the clay by hand. You can even see his finger marks in the finished piece. He lets a sheet of clay partially dry and then digs his fingers in and tears. Apparently it takes a toll on his hands, since the clay resists tearing.
He embraces the element of chance overall. Notice the pool of blue at the center, that was created by gravity's action on the glaze.
I was wondering if there was a greater meaning to this plate looking fractured?
This plate was actually made by the artist through the use of extreme physical force. Kato slammed and roughly kneaded the clay, and wanted the plate to physically become a manifestation of energetic motions.
The artist favors clays that are very difficult to work with, so the jagged edges and the element of chance, such as the ceramic shattering in the kiln, are welcomed elements of his work.
The work really capitalizes on that. It feels dangerous and vulnerable, like it could cut you up if you hold it wrong.
I agree, it looks very sharp, the artist's energy is so clear! While the plate was made in 1999, there's a long history in Japan of incorporating and welcoming imperfections into ceramics, so this work definitely plays with a larger context too!
It looks very pure. Was this piece fired in a wood kiln?
Yes! The artist keeps the pieces clean in a sagar, a ceramic box which protects the pieces from wood ash and smoke.
How was this made? Did they break the edges?
Kato uses extreme physical force to manipulate the clay while it's still wet He slams pieces into the table and kneads them roughly. The edges appear to be a result of a tearing action during this process. This plate is a manifestation of the energetic motions used to form the object.
Did people eat off of this?
No, they did not. This is a contemporary work made by Kato Tsubusa, a Japanese artist, in 1999. It is a sculptural form more so than a practical one, although it could be used to present a couple pieces of sushi or a decorative rice cake, if you wanted to use it that way.
Kato uses a clay that is particularly sticky and hard to work with, and uses physical force to rip into the clay, creating pieces like this. He also uses a wood-firing kiln, adding an element of chance to his work.