(Japanese, born 1950)
white stoneware, two elements 24 x 7 1/4 x 6 1/4; 26 x 7 1/2 x 7 inches
Artwork courtesy of the Artist
Born in Nobeoka, Miyazaki, Japan in 1950, Akio Takamori studied traditional techniques and was apprenticed early in his career to a master potter, creating ceramics for industrial manufacture. A visit to his factory by Kansas City ceramic artist Ken Ferguson encouraged Takamori to emigrate to the United States to continue his studies at the Kansas City Art Institute. Now with degrees in art from KCAI and Alfred University in New York, Takamori teaches ceramics to a new generation of students in Seattle, where he has lived since 1992.
Although he has lived in this country for three decades, Japanese culture still plays a very important role in Takamori’s art. His recent figurative sculptures, such as Conversation, draw upon his early memories of villagers, shopkeepers, and school children in his home town. Each of the figures express individual personalities, rendered in clay with great affection.
I want my figures to breathe, and they can’t do that if they’re glazed or over-fired. I want them to be more than objects, to be animistic . . . But they are not dolls. . .They were inspired by Japanese fetish figures that represent a human form. Those figures are made and then deliberately broken, thereby releasing bad karma or illness from people.
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