Kentaro Kawabata’s uniquely hand-modelled objets made from porcelain clay are tinged with a mysterious sense of resembling living beings, like creatures dwelling in the deep sea. In the abundant environs of Mizunami City in Gifu Prefecture he has set up his workshop, and takes inspiration from anything from the insects which his pet cat holds in its mouth, to things which many people would overlook: the delicate or insignificant, or the totally obvious, or the changing of the seasons, and so forth. Budding in spring, growing in summer, being harvested in autumn, and withering in winter. The rhythms of that life are dramatically enlarged in shapes born as if spun with a subtle fingertip, blended with fragments of glass, silver sulphide and colourful glazes which lend the works a beguiling allure.
In this exhibition several ceramic vessels, bowls, and plates are exhibited, centering on the objet series “Soos”. The “So” of “Soos” is to represent the Japanese word “草 (sō, Grass)“and the mirrored letters “os” denote “operation system”. As a whole, “Soos“ expresses a kind of accumulation of time: green shoots will always wither, in a cycle that is repeated by all plants every year. The exhibition title “Organ” refers to the fact that although these artworks were not intentionally created as one group, they inadvertently came into existence as one series, one “Organ” – which functions as the starting point of the exhibition’s discourse – and this was how the title came to be applied. The world of Kawabata’s works, built up through the eyes of purity itself, is full of a fresh brilliance which at times mesmerizes us with its fascination.
Kentaro Kawabata was born in 1976 in Saitama Prefecture. After graduating from the Tajimi City Pottery Design and Technical Center in 2000 he began winning awards for his work at a very early stage, including the Kamoda Shoji Award at the Mashiko Pottery Exhibition (2004) and the Paramita Museum Ceramic Award (2007). He has held a number of solo exhibitions at highly-reputed ceramic institutions, as his unique sensibility and skill in modelling has brought him widespread acclaim as a ceramic artist. He has participated in group exhibitions at prestigious venues including the National Museum of Modern Art’s Crafts Gallery (“The Power of Decoration: A Viewpoint on Contemporary Kôgei (Studio Crafts)”, 2009), the Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum (“Phenomenon of Contemporary Ceramic”, 2014), and the Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu (2004, 2010).
1976 Born in Saitama, Japan
1998 Diploma, Tokyo Designer Institute, Ceramic Department, Tokyo
2000 B.F.A.,Tajimi city Pottery Design and Technical Center Gifu, Japan
Lives and works in Gifu, Japan