The interview consists of three questions. Through various answers from different people we discover KENPOKU and ways to make the most of it. The fourth respondent is the artist Kosho Ito.
- RespondentKosho Ito
- Born in Ishikawa Prefecture in 1932; lives and works in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Guest Professor at the graduate school of the Kanazawa College of Art. Ito has been exploring new territory in contemporary art with his three-dimensional figures, sculptures and prints made of clay, which also incorporate traditional pottery techniques such as those of Kasama-yaki. In addition to participating in Triennale-India (1978) and the Venice Biennale (1984), he has had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2009). For KENPOKU ART 2016, he is installing pieces of crumpled ceramic that he calls Tananmentai (“soft polyhedra”) over a large portion of the garden at the Hozumi Residence in Takahagi. The Tananmentai in this exhibition have been given a glossy blue pearl finish, and the set-up is designed to reflect and scatter the sunlight coming from the sky.
What was the most memorable moment of your visit to Northern Ibaraki prefecture?
- The drive from the mountains to the sea across northern Ibaraki.
It was the drive from the mountains to the sea across northern Ibaraki.
Initially, the prospective exhibit sites were narrowed down to two. To research the area, we first drove to visit Hozumike residence in Takahagi and then I was taken to the former Miwa junior high school in Hitachiomiya. Because the mountain route was not as bad as I had expected, I could enjoy the scenery of the surrounding nature. It has been forty years since I’ve come to live in Kasama, but I used to drive through “Beef Line” to Hitachiomiya and take Route 118 up to Fukuroda Waterfall. In the fall, I would go to pick grapes and apples and go over the mountain to Kamine Zoo after going by to see the great chimney by the mine.
Also I used to drive down Ibaraki Kaido from Satomi in Hitachiota to Hananuki Dam in Takahagi. After having enjoyed the autumn leaves, I used to head out to the pacific ocean. I recommend renting a car for going out further into the mountains for scenery. The artwork along the way would probably help to create memorable moments.
What would be the highlight of your work?
- Symbolize pieces of love and creation that swipe away the disturbing outlook of our current climate
The artwork involved a block of soft clay to be cut into thin slices and bent to be fired. Those 3000 pieces of pearl-blue, glossy ceramics were placed in four different areas in the garden of Hozumike Residence, a designated cultural property of Ibaraki. Three of those places are in the garden with pine, bamboo and plum trees which are used traditionally for auspicious occasions in Japan. In the larger garden, they are placed together inside an eight-meter diameter circle. From the countless pearl-blue surfaces of the mass exposed to natural atmosphere, such as sunlight and rain, symbolize pieces of love and creation that swipe away the disturbing outlook of our current climate. The surfaces of the mass share similarities and differences which are also characteristics of all living things. When receiving the rays of the sun, the light is reflected, scattered and diffused. It looks as though it is a device that generates energy.
The title of the artwork is “Pleats of Pearl Blue – to the sky/from the sky.
If you were to bring one item to make the most of the festival, what would it be?
It is a wonderful opportunity to capture the world of beauty and imagination.
Any camera is fine. Collect all the art pieces and keep it with you as a treasure chest.
Other 3 Questions
Q3. If you were to bring one item to make the most of the festival, what would it be?
Artist Tohru Nakazaki
Q1. What was the most memorable moment of your visit to Northern Ibaraki prefecture?
Artist AKI INOMATA