PARIS, FRANCE | NAGOYA, JAPAN
SCULPTURE IN STONEWARE & PORCELAIN
Yoshimi Futamura is a Japanese ceramic artist who works and lives in France since 1986 . She was born in 1959, in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. She studied in Japan at the School of Ceramic Art in Seto from 1979–82, and is a graduate of the Centre Artisanal de Ceramic de L’Ecole Duperre in Paris. Her work resides with the collection of the Harn Museum of Art, the AIC Ariana Museum in Geneva, the Yale University Art Gallery and The Brooklyn Museum.
For Yoshimi Futamura, ceramics is an art. Her intuitive understanding of the matter comes from her childhood spent in Nagoya, and then from her meeting with the Masters of the Seto Centre. In no time, thanks to the tea ceremony, she discovered the link between ceramics and the practice of the art of living.
As a student she was initiated in the art of wood firing and the spiritual dimension implicit therein. Shaped by the thinking of its creator, the terra cotta work is an invitation to discover the path of a tactile imagination. For Yoshimi Futamura it becomes a centre, a new spirit echoing that of the earth seen by the artist as a being per se, but also as a natural asset leading us to something shared, and to humility. It is indeed with this observation of an original bond with the living world, sometimes forgotten by human beings, that Yoshimi Futamura signs in clay. This quality of eye and touch, peculiar to the Japanese ceramicist, finds its roots in an age-old history which is freely expressed in her works.
Yoshimi uses a blend of stoneware clays and a mixture of fired and raw granulated porcelain to create her collapsed rounded forms that appear both vegetal and geological in origin. These forms are sometimes encrusted with feldspar, and enhanced with cobalt and iron oxide glazes on the interior that are sometimes iridescent. The texture of her work may appear burned, crushed, creased, charred, or speckled with fine granules. Futamura’s artwork can be read within the concept of wabi sabi, or imperfect, incomplete beauty. The irregularity of her pieces only increases their meditative quality.
“When I look at clay, when I touch it, when sometimes I taste it, I try to feel, to sense the secret message of this marvelous material, to understand the power of clay! How can I translate it in my work? And most difficult of all, how can I ensure that this power lives on after my firing? Clay is not just any material, it is something living.”