Ceramist: Yuki Inoue
Yuki Inoue, whose grandfather is a Living National Treasure. We spoke to Yuki Inoue, who continues to develop her own unique style while inheriting traditional techniques, and how she approaches her work.
—Mr. Inoue, please tell us about your thoughts on manufacturing.
When it comes to vessels and other items used in daily life, we make them with the user in mind first, such as how easy they are to hold and how easy they are to drink from. While trying to be as close to the customer as possible, I also want to express my own colors. I made it with just the right balance in mind. I'm still in the process of finding my own style, but I think I'm gradually developing my own style.
- Please let us know if there are any people or things that have influenced your work.
For example, in the work of ``Yuteki'', I was influenced by the splashes of paint expressed in paintings and art, the ink of calligraphy, and the spray marks used in street graffiti. I liked that kind of accidental, live-feeling expression, so I incorporated it. Layering glaze on top of glaze gives it a three-dimensional feel and depth.
The work ``Beware of Fragile Items'' is inspired by the ``Beware of Fragile Items'' tags placed on cardboard boxes during shipping. As someone who makes pottery, this sticker is very familiar to me, and I have always been interested in its strong message. The thing to be careful about is the container inside, and I thought it would be interesting to have the container and the sticker coexist, so I created this piece. Along with this strong message, we also want people to use their vessels with more care. People who like tag and graffiti culture also like it.
-What kind of work are you currently focusing on?
Lately, I've been making letters using pottery. Characters are usually flat. When letters are made into pottery, they become three-dimensional and have mass. I thought it would be interesting to add the "mass" of pottery to the "letters" that cannot be touched, and the feeling of "the letters becoming touchable".
Pottery is a "fragile item" that must be treated with care, and it can contain characters that you want to cherish, such as auspicious words such as "kotobuki" and "congratulations," children's names, company logos, and other things that you don't want to destroy. ” I decided to make it with the motif. Touching it will make you feel attached to it, so you should cherish it even more.
In this way, I also want to create things that are closer to art. Rather than being a potter, my stance is that I just want to play with the environment around me and materials that are familiar to me. I would like to pass on the skills and do all kinds of fun things.
Customers get bored with the same things, and I like to come up with interesting things myself. There are times when I can't sleep because all sorts of ideas come to mind (lol). But it's fun, and it enriches your soul.
Through my activities, I am able to connect not only with people who like pottery, but also with people who like art, and people who like fashion by making accessories, and I hope that people from various industries will come to love Arita's pottery. I would be happy if it became.
-What kind of work would you like to create in the future?
First, I would like to create ``things that I want to be broken,'' as opposed to ``things that I don't want to break,'' which I'm currently focusing on. For example, I would like to display things in a destroyed state that I would like to see disappear, such as wars, weapons, and dangerous drugs.
Another is trying to make a pole that stands on the road.
I think it could be used for installations by arranging flowers inside and arranging a large number of them, or arranging pottery next to them. Usually, pottery is something that is done indoors, so I thought it would be interesting to bring something from outside indoors because it would feel strange. I'm also experimenting with different colors to try and bring out the original.
- Mr. Inoue, what are your thoughts on Arita ware?
Thanks to Arita ware, I have been able to meet many people and have had many experiences, so I would like to give back to them. Even though I know that the tradition of Arita ware must never die out, the truth is that I don't know what to do about it.
However, I hope that because I am enjoying my activities, some people will think, ``I want to do this too.'' I hope that by increasing the number of people who are interested in Arita ware and feeling that it's good to be free, I can contribute to the lack of successors.
We also offer a potter's wheel experience because we want as many people as possible to experience it. Although such activities may not produce immediate results, I think it is important to continue them.
History of Arita ware
Arita ware is a type of porcelain that represents Japan and is painted with colorful paints. It has a long history, dating back 400 years. In 1616 , Yi San- pyeong (Japanese name: Kingae Sambei), a potter brought back by Nabeshima Naoshige of the Saga domain during the Bunroku-Keicho era by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, was sent to Arita Izumiyama as raw material for porcelain. The discovery of high-quality pottery stone is said to be the beginning of Arita ware.
Arita ware is characterized by the use of somemetsuke, which is painted with an indigo pigment called gosu, and overglaze painting, called iroe, on the transparent white porcelain surface. Characterized by bright colors. It is highly durable and has been used to produce a variety of items, from works of art to daily necessities. “Overglaze” is the process of applying a design to the surface of glazed and fired porcelain.In contrast to “underglaze,” which involves applying a design before applying the glaze, it is called “overglaze” because it is painted over the glaze layer. It is said to be ``upper picture''. In addition, while the ``under-glaze'' is painted with indigo-colored gosu, the ``over-glaze'' is painted in a variety of colors.
Arita ware, which has been perfected over a long history, is generally divided into three styles: ``Old Imari style,'' ``Kakiemon style,'' and ``Nabeshima domain kiln style.''
"Old Imari style"
This is a style produced in Hizen Arita during the Edo period that uses rich dyeing and rich red and gold paint called kinrande. At that time, these porcelains were shipped from the port of Imari, adjacent to Arita, hence the name. Kinrande is a piece of colored porcelain decorated with gold paint or gold powder, creating a gorgeous pattern.
It is characterized by overglaze colored paintings called ``Aka-e'', which are painted in bright colors such as red, blue, green, and yellow on a milky white base called Nigoshide. It was also called the ``beauty of white space'' because of the generous amount of white space in the composition. Kakiemon-style vessels developed rapidly as colored porcelain for export, and many pieces made their way to Europe, and many imitations were made in Meissen kilns in Germany.
"Nabeshima clan kiln style"
It is characterized by its bluish background, comb height, and back pattern. The techniques include ``Colored Nabeshima'', which is based on dyeing and the three colors of red, blue, and green, ``Ainabeshima'', which is elaborately painted in indigo blue, and ``Nabeshima Celadon'', which is a natural blue-green color. Among them, ``Colored Nabeshima'' with an overglaze picture was used as tableware for the lord of the Saga domain and as gifts to various feudal lords and the shogunate. It can be said that the unique beauty of style was achieved because it was a domain kiln, and Ironabeshima, which brought together the best of the techniques of the time, boasts beauty that is representative of Arita, along with the Kakiemon style.
The difference between Imari ware and Arita ware is that porcelain made around Arita Town, Saga Prefecture is called Arita ware. During the Edo period, porcelain fired in Arita was exported from the port of Imari (Imari City), next door to Arita, so it spread throughout the country under the name Imari ware (Imari ware = Arita ware). Later, after the Meiji period, porcelain made in Arita came to be called Arita ware, named after the place where it was produced. Additionally, the term ``Old Imari'', which is often heard in antiques, refers to Arita ware made in the Edo period, and now Imari ware is made in Okawachiyama, Imari City.
Today, the town of Arita is dotted with many potteries, and even has a vocational school for learning pottery called the Ceramics College, with the aim of nurturing the next generation of potters. In addition, mining at Arita Izumiyama (Izumiyama, Arita Town, Saga Prefecture) has almost disappeared, and Amakusa pottery stone has become the mainstream in Kumamoto Prefecture, where it is easier to use.
*Bunroku/Keichō no Eki During the six years from 1592 to 1598 , Toyotomi Hideyoshi conquered the Ming Dynasty (present-day China). The war was aimed at invading Korea (present-day South Korea, North Korea). The first battle is called the ``Bunroku no Eki'' ( 1592 - 1593 ), and the second battle is called the ``Keicho Era'' ( 1597 - 1598 ). The battle ended in 1959 with the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi .
Introduction of restaurants used by customers (partial introduction)
Restaurant “Kouan Nabeshima” (Onjuku Fukuchiyo)
2420-1 Hamacho Otsu, Kashima City, Saga Prefecture
LIB COFFEE IMARI
180 Otsu, Imari-cho, Imari-shi, Saga Prefecture
1-7-10 Tojin, Saga City, Saga Prefecture
Takeo Onsen Yumotoso Toyokan
7408 Takeo, Takeo-cho, Takeo City, Saga Prefecture (Onsen Street)
2-15-10 Kego, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture
6-16-41 1F, Shirokane, Minato-ku, Tokyo
3-10-13 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo FPG links OMOTESANDO Building B 2F
Stand-up pickled plum shop
4th floor, Tokyo Solamachi, 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
Wild vegetable cuisine Dewaya
58 Mazawa, Nishikawa-machi, Nishimurayama-gun, Yamagata Prefecture