Sunday, 1 July 2012

Picasso & Yoshitomo Nara at Shigaraki Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Arts

There is still a week left of the wonderful exhibition called DOKI DOKI at the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art in Shigaraki (SCCP). I visited the exhibition a few days ago and I had such a fun day! The exhibit brings together ceramic art works of some really famous international and Japanese artists, living and diseased. Some of them normally do not use ceramics as a regular medium to express their art. Included in the exhibition were painters such as Pablo Picasso, or print artists as Tadanori Yokoo and Shoichi Ida (Ida just had a solo exhibit at MOMAK, I wrote about in the previous post).

Furthermore there were works of ceramics artists like the one form Naoki Koide, the Cloud Theater. A fun and humorous work that I loved. One of his other works I've seen at ART Kyoto, which I wrote about earlier this year (+ top left picture). Another work I was interested in is by the American Richard Shaw, Shigaraki 2001, where a house of cards is stacked on a tea cup, on a book, all of ceramics of course (similar to this piece). One of my favorite works in this exhibit is by the Finnish artist Kim Simonsson, called Alien Tattoo. It is a boy, life size, all in white with big anime-like eyes and hair, opening his shirt showing a tattoo. And of course I wanted to see the two pieces of the very famous Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara. Not in the least because he is the famous artist of my dearest friend in the Netherlands. I am really sorry I do not have pictures of the exhibit, except from the wonderful ethereal work 'Harushuuu' by Haruki Takahashi. This was the only piece I was allowed to photograph (two bottom pictures, right). That is why I included all those links and the poster, front/back. I'm hope you'll have the opportunity to see for yourself this week!

After a visit to the museum I wandered around the Ceramic Park and got to meet briefly with Leiko Ikemura herself! A few of her works were exhibited at DOKI DOKI. Ikemura was now briefly over from Germany, for the opening of the Toyota museum, where her works will also be shown. She is an hugely accomplished lady, with an impressive resumé

Apart from a wonderful Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, the town is dotted with many ceramic shops, since 'Shigaraki ware' is what the village is famous for. From every shop the hundreds of tiny surrounding one huge tanuki stare you down. The biggest tanuki has rested it's huge bulk at the station square. Want to make a call? You have to dare with him looming over you! A tanuki is a legendary Japanese raccoon dog with magic powers. He's a shape shifter and can turn into anything! He's a mischievous and jolly creature so be sure you really buy a ceramic one and not take the magical creature home. That one can dissapear in to thin air once you leave Shigaraki :)

Accept for tanuki, and ceramic frogs, cats, vases and other paraphernalia, there's not much else to see in Shigaraki, but the wonderful mountains. However dull the village may seem, surrounded by this much beautiful nature, you leave Shigaraki with a happy hart!

PS: The vase/horse piece (bottom left) I've found in one of the office buildings of the Ceramics Park. It's by Keiko Matsumo. I am in awe of her work and dream to be able to visit a (solo) exhibition one time.


  1. I really like those long wide angle shots. They always seem more interesting to look at then normal panoramas because of the image bending on the sides.

    1. Thank you Tom! I take those panorama pictures with a Sony Nex-5 camera.

  2. Awesome Japanese ceramics Photos, Diversity of Japanese Design is wonderful.
    Here, a gallery in Paris, which has nice japanese art pieces:
    Yakimono Art