shigaraki peops: naoki koide

i have been having a great time at shigaraki and one reason for that is all the awesome artists i am getting to know and work next to.  in this little series of blog posts i hope to briefly introduce these awesome people.

koide-san with figure.

naoki koide has appeared in this blog before, in this post about the paul clay show at salon 94.  his work is in the second picture, the pink cloud-like figure in the foreground.  that was my first time to see his work in person.  all i really knew about him was that he was represented by tomio koyama gallery, where agatha and i curated think warm: miami draws for you back in 2006.  turns out he saw the show too!  i’m a big fan of his work and am now a fan of the person as well.

koide-san spends about a week of each month at togei no mori (shigaraki ceramic cultural park) and does his clay work exclusively here. he studied at tokyo zokei university and was at one time a student/assistant of yoshitomo nara.  like nara, he used to work in plastics.  they are both featured in a show at the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Arts right now (titled doki doki) which features artists working in other media who have created works in ceramic and variety of ceramic artists.

though he is kicking some serious butt with clay he is also beginning to explore sculpting wood, which he can do at his studio at home.  he mentioned that he gets huge chunks of wood from generous wood firing friends around shigaraki.

maquettes and small figures for mini trade

koide-san said his work is always about his family.  earlier works talked about his parents and brother and in his current work he explores his small family of three.  in sculptures of heads, which in scale are much larger than life, he portrays his wife and himself.  he often portrays his wife as larger than himself.  when i asked why that was he said that it is because she possesses more power than he.

maquette of current work.

on one side of these large sculpture an active interior is visible, full of tiny sculptures, paths and, in this series, a large figure symbolizing his young daughter.

back of maquette with inner world.

the seemingly unrelated milieu of items inside the sculpture correlate to the mess of things constantly dancing around in our heads and the placement of the daughter figure explores the different relationships the mother and father have with the daughter.

koide-san with his in progress sculptures. they are only about halfway done!

for the one short week he was in residence koide-san was a great contributor to the fun and comradeship at togei no mori.

his work is up at the new hikarie building in shibuya now.  click the link for images and an interview (with is in japanese but features some great shots of the insides of koide-san’s sculpture).

coffee break.

check back for more run downs on the awesome artists working at togei no mori this month:)

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progress

the last week has been kind of bananas.  last friday i had pretty much run out of clay and took the opportunity to go to the clay store and get more, thinking i had another week of building ahead.  that afternoon we had the monthly kiln meeting and i realized i had more like 3 days left.  yikes!

wall collection.

i have amassed a pretty good collection of wall pieces for the installation i will mount before the end of my stay.  i am using a mixture of local clays, both a smooth white and black shigaraki clay and a black clay with the ubiquitous feldspar inclusions.  i am also using (sparingly) arita porcelain from kyushu.

tiny black and white trade pieces.

i have organized a mini- trade with the other residents.  these are my little guys.  see that fake grass under them?  i found a whole case of 12″ x 12″ squares of it in the dumpster and might try to use it for something….

soon to be floor pieces.

floor pieces drying.

lightweight templates.

middle floor piece.

working here the last couple of weeks has been awesome!  i love that all i have to do everyday is just eat, sleep and work.  and being able to wake up and walk right to my studio pretty much rules.

i have been able to put everything else out of my mind and i’ve even had time to do some cooking.  sometimes the residents get together to cook and eat.  i invited everyone to share some nabe one evening and the other night everyone cooked something and shared, kind of like a potlock.

yumie working on her dish.

nabe night.

kimchi nabe.

potluck!

ok, maybe not everything else.  i keep having dreams in which my kitties wonder off.  it’s so weird.  during the day i think “this is so wonderful i hope i can come back and stay longer some day” and at night my brain feels guilty or something.  miss those little nerds:(

violet and junior.

busy day.

field trip.

meal that another american artist and i threw together the other night.

i’m on a mission to learn some proper japanese cooking, this is my attempt at miso soup.

some in progress works, i think i will have a pretty substantial installation or these by the end…

saturday i headed out to kyoto with 2 of the other artists. i had seen some of these sites before (with parents, benny, masa) but despite the droves of us tourists they are still amazingly beautiful and great to see again.

kiyomizudera, i think that translates to pure water temple, but don’t hold me to it. you can, intriguingly, pay a couple hundred yen to take off your shoes, walk into the temple and into complete blackness (you have a rail to hold which leads you around), around a spiral and into a room with a large stone. if you place your hand on this stone you can make a wish. this dark place is considered the womb of the temple. 🙂

star leaves.

turtles.

shopping street.

meaghan, an artist from cali, with some maikos on the streets of kyoto.

shizuka, who is working at the togei no mori for a whole year, modeling a hat in a small shop.

kinkakuji, the golden temple.

ship shaped giant bonzai…

cool trees.

after the golden temple we went to another famous site, ryoenji, which is a temple and a zen rock garden.  i didn’t take any pictures, because i was busy talking with shizuka about art and happiness.  i hope to post pics and some discussion with several of the artists working at the togei no mori in this blog so keep an eye out.

anyway, on the way back to the car…wait for it…..

2 words, cat cafe.

CAT CAFE!? i didn’t go in. but i wanted to …..

day two (and a half?)

making work, museum and wondering around the grounds. day two felt busy, but i also feel like i got a lot done.  one of the other residents commented on how fast i was working and  as those who share a studio with me in florida know, that doesn’t happen often!

tokyo food and friends or friends and food?

as completely pumped as i was to be reunited with all my wonderful friends in japan, i may even have been more excited about the food.  there is a lot of food pride in japan so i think my friends understood.  the whole week i was in tokyo i got to enjoy great company and great meals.  here’s a little smattering of photos, when i remembered to take them before digging into delicious food and of course, the ubiquitous memory lane:)

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shabu shabu with my tokyo gang.

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making tempura with momoru’s mama.

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my favorite ramen in tokyo, rasuta ramen.

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followed by dessert and coffee at mr. donut with masa.

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delicious dinner with my japanese teacher and her family.

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i was so lucky to chat with them about life and art and our old friends.  and chiba-sensei gave me some homemade umeboshi plums to take home.

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okonomiyaki and monjayaki with masa, mariko, and

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surprise!  yuki and blair all the way from australia.

fun times in harajuky with kiyomi, who brought us delicious japanese bakery lunch, sorry no photo!

residency time.

yesterday i arrived in shigaraki japan where i will do a one month residency at the shigaraki ceramic cultural park.

after taking the shinkensen from tokyo to kyoto, i transferred to a local train and then to two buses.  the bus ride was long and curvy, so i wanted to vomit a little but was eventually distracted by the amazing view out the window.

my view had been particularly beautiful for a good deal of my journey but soon after boarding the second bus i was literally awestruck.  i am sure that these pictures, taken from my phone, through a rainy window, while the bus barreled upwards and around curves don’t do the scenery justice but my chin was on the floor.  this might be the most breathtaking place i’ve ever been.

mountains! trees!

clouds

 

once i arrived at shigaraki, i was shown my room, introduced to the staff and several residents and taken to the grocery store to get provisions.

i unpacked my stuff, wondered around a little and in the evening there was a little welcome party.  one of the women here is from the gunma prefecture and had several types of pork from her family’s farm.

meat! from kumie’s famliy.

amazing spread.

this morning i woke up early and met with the staff to discuss my clay needs.

serious business.

then we went off to the clay store, where i purchased some black clay, which you can see (ish) in the test tiles above.

everything everyone has said is completely true.  it was totally overwhelming choosing clay.  i haven’t been to the tool store yet but i’m planning to be blown away.

i’m really into the fact that there are entire stores dedicated to clay.

anyway, finally back to the studio and getting to work:)