Shio Kusaka is a Japanese ceramics artist well known for her beautifully asymmetrical pots. She has developed a distinct formal language through her use of shapes, patterns, colours and glazing techniques. Led by an intrigue into the making of pottery, Kusaka balances the question of functionality – as dictated by the medium of ceramics – against her own vocabulary of design. Her vessels are irregular with a slight unevenness, the result of an attempt to create a precise symmetry. She builds delicate structures of imperfection, with well-centered weight and sense of gravity. Within the gallery space Kusaka arranges her pots in clusters along the uncoated tabletop, creating a fluid accumulation of contours and volumes.
Her creations allude to 18th century Egyptian Dynasty, late Bronze Age Cyprus, and the Yayoi period in Japan. Remaining closer to modernist and contemporary aesthetics her pots venture far beyond these ancestors and traditions.
“Shio’s pots tend to deflect language — and yet, they parallel its syntactical structure: A single pot might act like a word, conjured from a limited alphabet that becomes seemingly endless in combination, while a cluster of these pots intimates the structure of a sentence, and a table full of them suggests an essay—one written on the topic of irregularity and its rich variety.”
- Holte, Michael Ned, ‘Pots’, in Shio Kusaka, Wood Kusaka Studios, Los Angeles, CA, 2012
Shio Kusaka, born in 1972 in Japan, lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her BFA at the University of Washington, Seattle. Kusaka has had solo exhibitions at: Greengrassi, London, 2011; Anton Kern Gallery, New York, 2010; Susanne Hilberry Gallery, Frendale, 2009; Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, 2009; and Tortoise Gallery, Venice, CA, 2005. Selected group exhibitions include: Verlangsamte Performance, Van Horn, Düsseldorf, 2012; Dwelling, Marianne Boesky Gallery, 2011; Banquet of the Black Jackal, The Luckman Gallery, Los Angeles, 2011; Not Extractions, but Abstractions (Part 2), Clifton Benevento, New York, 2010; Multiple Pleasures: Functional Objects in Contemporary Art, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, 2010; Not Extractions, but Abstractions, Karma International, Zürich, 2010; Objects, Furniture & Patterns, Art Since the Summer of 69’, New York, 2009; and Friends and Family, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, 2008