Yuko Okazaki creates graceful and modern ceramic work that bears a sense of comfortable familiarity with daily life, through elements such as smooth white glazes with reliefs of carefree fluttering dragonflies. Her work is also associated with the spirit of Art Nouveau that expressed admiration for beauty of nature – plants and flowers, insects, and the changing seasons, evoking the joy of living.
This is her third exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery and Okazaki pursues her exploration of the motif of flowers that she has been working on throughout her career. It features works with more three-dimensional petals, about which the artist remarks that she “creates them one by one by hand, with memories of flowers seen in childhood in my mind, so that each becomes marked with my fingerprints”. The exhibition showcases around 200 works including bowls with nearly 200 petals and works with white bodies and gold glazes like a butterfly flying in the midst of flowers. Okazaki also remarks it was an “enjoyable and mysterious experience, as if my body was jumping into the world of the ceramic”. Her petals, as if exemplifying her words, rise lively on ceramic bodies like delicate laces decorating a dress. This exhibition showcases Okazaki’s new challenge to herself.