Woodfired clay, 18″ x 12″ x 12″
“I would like to share a quote by M.C. Richards of ‘What are humans for?’
Our role is to live ourselves as ART – knowing that we are needed in the great ongoing evolutionary story. For art making is a form of meditation and of prayer – an affirmation of wholeness, of community, and in fact, a celebration. What should I be doing with my life? Feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, gathering up the homeless? Ah, I am trying to do that, my soul says: l beginning with permitting my own hunger, illness, lostness, reaching for healing and wholeness, finding my way through the arts as well as through community and agriculture.
It has been a long and wonderful path which has taken me down this road of making art. I am honored to be part of this exhibition of a community of potters of Japanese heritage. My personal path was largely influenced by my parents and their traditional lifestyle. Having made pottery for over 50 years, trained in the U.S. and in Japan, I have been inspired by Japanese American artists Ruth Asawa, George Nakashima, Isamu Noguchi, and Toshiko Takaezu. After returning from Japan, I set up my studio in Carmel Valley, California, and then in Elkton, Oregon in 1981. It was here that I was able to put a lot of my ideas and pottery of living a very traditional Japanese way of life. With a wonderful wife who is an organic gardener, we were able to incorporate agriculture, community of neighbors and potters, and the firing of a traditional wood fired kiln. I do want to thank Yoshi Fujii and Juliane Shibata for undertaking this vast project and exhibition, and for bringing community to all of us potters of Japanese heritage down this MICHI. Let us celebrate.”
– Hiroshi Ogawa