How Otani Workshop Is Transforming Ancient Japanese Ceramics

Offering a rare behind-the-scenes look at this creative process.

Arts  
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One can trace the history of Japanese ceramics to the Neolithic era. The art form has attracted a long list of regional craftsmen and cultivated many longstanding traditions such as the traditional tea ceremony. Shigeru Otani, widely-known as the singular artist behind the alias Otani Workshop, carries on the artistic tradition while injecting contemporary aesthetics to create a unique practice of his own. Humanlike subjects with eccentric features such as elongated arms and misshapen heads are a few hallmark motifs inherent across Otani’s extensive oeuvre.

“I think the boundary line of art is swaying. So, rather than saying that I am entering the contemporary art [world], I think I am perhaps at the boundary line of contemporary art,” expressed the artist. “Like where does the contemporary art end?”

We recently paid a visit to Otani Workshop’s studio located on the Awaji Island in Japan, shadowing the artist as he nimbly develops a sculpture using rough clay and natural materials such as wood and iron found on the island. These pieces will soon be featured at his first solo show in Galerie Perrotin Seoul in South Korea. Explore the ceramic world of Otani Workshop in the video above and then let us know your thoughts.

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