I have been primarily working on ceramics since I realized the potential of the medium. Growing up in Arita, Japan, a region noted for its remarkable porcelain ceramics dating back to the 1600's, I have developed a close connection with ceramic art.

As an artist, I have been exploring my ongoing theme about the transitions which all the objects and creatures on earth undergo. Clay is a suitable material for me to work on this theme because of its inherent nature. All things surrounding us, regardless of the presence or absence of human intervention, are continuously undergoing small changes at every second: construction and creation, transformation, and division and destruction. Changes occur by through the accumulation of multiple incidental factors over time, which suggests conceptual associations with clay that has formed over time in a stratum of the earth and then was dug up to become a glazed art piece in a kiln. I invariably get my inspiration from visual changes of things caused by both natural and unnatural events over time such as layers in canyons accumulated and exposed over many years, weathered abandoned buildings, re-pasted and faded advertisement posters on city walls, a squashed can in a road, layered paints peeling off of a wall, and so on. These visual elements grab my attention because I am intrigued by the stories behind those physical changes. The quotidian objects have inadvertently become mysterious looking things with peculiar textures and compositions. These visual encounters influence my aesthetic sense and main concept.

One of the essential aspects of my work is to deal with the presence and absence of people. I try to achieve this by making sculptures based off of objects that are parts of our every day lives. I take forms of those familiar man-made objects and I also abstract those forms occasionally until they become hard to be recognized. I try to make sculptural objects that give a feeling of abandoned. I want those sculptures to exhibit aesthetics in decay and deformation and to give off a sense of sadness and nostalgia as well as a sense of hope.

Also, my work deals with the intersection of materiality, pottery, craft, history of ceramics. I experiment with approaches to transforming conventional ceramic forms such as flower vases and tea bowls and combining them with functional vessel-formed objects including buckets, stacked egg cartons or bricks suggesting my attempts to recapture the concept and history of ceramic ware that has developed as a daily commodity. I try to question traditional craft and the boundaries between ceramic and fine art, decoration and sculpture.


Toshiaki Noda