Shoji Satake

Oba no hana

Oba no Hana   2015
Slip cast and altered, 3D printed, 6” x 8” x 14”

“As an immigrant, my work embodies my constant struggle to blend my Japanese heritage with my American upbringing. This dichotomy in my work (the wabi-sabi and the yin-yang) seeks to create a harmonious existence between two distinct forms that can only exist together, a flower-like object and a coral reef stone-like base. By interpreting these two unique cultures as a singular object it allows me to ascertain the universal journey of self-discovery that many artists pursue. I am influenced by my natural surroundings; my Japanese heritage hints at the notion of recreating man’s ideals of nature while my Alaskan upbringing reflects a raw, natural beauty. I create abstract sculptural landscapes that reflect these two philosophies of nature in the disparate forms, which are dependent on one another for symbiosis. While floral attributes speak of the beauty, sexuality, and frailty that are inherent in all living things, the rock suggests the foundation and strength we all identify with as a sense of belonging. The work also depicts a sense of the exotic. The juicy glazes of the floral insets create an impulse for closer inspection. As in nature, a flower’s sole purpose is in its sensuality to procreate. These ceramic sculptures express the subtle erotic nature of these obsessions. Compositional appearance suggests landscapes that are reminiscent of ink wash paintings of the China. The surface of the base bares the scars of weathering from the atmospheric firings. My experiences and travels have taught me that even in the worst of conditions, humanity desires beauty and I am compelled to find it in my work.”

移民として、私の作品は日系人であることとアメリカで育ったこととをどう融合させるかという常の苦闘を表現しています。(侘び寂びや陰陽にみられる)二分性が花のようなものと珊瑚礁岩のような土台という二つの全く違うかたちであるにもかかわらず調和しながら存在する様子を作り上げているのです。アラスカで培われた大自然の美しさを投影するとともに日本的というべき自然の理想の創造を比喩します。ひとは最悪な状態にあっても可憐さを求めるものだということを経験や旅から学びました。そしてそれを私の作品に見いだせたらと思います。

– Shoji Satake

Satake, bio