This collection of works focuses on the idea of form that is gradually being altered by natural conditions. These conditions eventually change the form from its initial state to become more fluid and less permanent. These works invoke the idea of impermanence, they are ephemeral, transient and transitional, which I think is the opposite of the accepted purpose of ceramic-making—that is to achieve the ‘permanent’ quality of the material for either technical or aesthetic purposes. In 2016 I began to experiment with growing seeds inside the clay body by adding compost, potting soil and other form of planting mediums. These ongoing experiments so far have resulted in several projects, from site specific sculptures to performative installations.

 

The installation below titled "Transitory Nature of Earthly Joy" was exhibited as part of the Karekimata Project at Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2018. It was a collaborative art project organised by Kyoto Seika University and the people of Tokamachi village in Niigata prefecture. The installation consists of ten sets approximate replicas of farming tools and potteries from the Yayoi period made of raw clay and compost filled with seeds. The Yayoi period in Japan started at the beginning of the Neolithic period and continued through the Bronze Age and towards the end, crossed into the Iron Age. Many of the artifacts uncovered from this period are related to agriculture. Scholars believe this period to be the start of intensive rice agriculture development in Japan, especially wet rice plantation in contrast with the previous hunter-gatherers of the Jōmon period. The main idea behind this project was to create a metaphor of the interconnection between the people of Tokamachi where most residents are farmers surrounded by organic life. It was a project that highlighted for me the difficult negotiation between a comfortable bio-diverse environment and a sustainable human community since Tokamachi struggles with an aging population in a beautiful but isolated rural environment. Most of the seeds planted inside each of the replicas sprouted and some of them kept growing towards the end of the festival. Some of them altered, changed and even almost destroyed the shape of the objects. 

Karekimata Project - Clay Work | 2018