For Solo Exhibition
“Edit Region/In the Room”

Saeko Kuwana has been creating ceramic works on our familiar motifs like a tiger ornament, a window, and a pillar. What is remarkable in Kuwana’s works is her interesting combination of selected motifs and it arrangements of appearing “ceramic” instead of readymade collage. For example, in one of her works Amida Falls in her “window” piece, modern curtain written “LOVE” is hung in contrast to a classic and decorative window in the Baroque style. The curtain is hung carelessly and is basically a mis-match to the classical window. It looks like a drop curtain half opened for a stage or a puppet show. Seeing over the window, there is Japanese classic waterfall: Hokusai’s “Waterfalls in Various Provinces”. Another work, “For New Palace” is the installation work that is combined with several different pillars. At the first look, the pillars seems to be based on classic western model, but when seeing them close, viewers could find Eastern pillar combined, and an irrelevant object like a teapot being inserted in a pillar. Those aspects dominate the space as one object.

In the style of “art of quotation”, it will be essential aspects for works to bring politics and dissection of the meaning. On the other hand, most of selected motifs in her works depend on an image of common trends and styles that is not bound in narrow meaning. But if so, limited meaning is difficult to extract from selected pieces. This leads the interest of reading “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” instead of the quotation to summarize various styles like post modern architecture. In other words, Kuwana’s works are fascinating as formative art which can also take it just simply as an interesting object even before thinking about the meaning. Although receiving the artist’ thought from the combined pieces, the meaning is not limited, so it is possible for viewers to extend their imagination. On replacing ceramic as material, it makes easier to capture as unique and curious formed objects instead of seeing as collage of quotation.

There are other advantages for making the actual motifs by ceramic. Ceramic cannot express the sense of the material from a referring object. Unless it is intended as an object controlled for mass-production, somehow hand-made like textures appear on works whose material gives uncontrollable shape and size until a completion of firing. At the same time, some ceramic pieces have fragility as the material impression. There is no straight forwarded materialistic weight as Robert Rauschenberg’s combine painting. On the other hand, Kuwana’s works have flexibility like a hand-made T-shirts that can be painted anything in any styles, culture, landscapes and motifs. Probably, she achieved expression of representational fragility which comes from trends and styles that can be seen through motifs.

In this exhibition, a gallery space is regarded as a house to present Kuwana’s works. I believe a space in a general house is full of objects selected through the taste of the owner of the space, and we are able to see the space without considering of looking through the owner’s historical background. In the private place created by an owner, visitors sometimes encounter some unexpected strange objects. And the place like this has similarity with Kuwana’s style. It will be exciting to see how our gallery turns into a completely different space by her works.

Books: Toshiro Kondo (ART FRONT GALLERY)