Takuro Kuwata “Dancing Udon”

The Gallery (at o.d.o.)

poster for Takuro Kuwata “Dancing Udon”
[Image: Takuro Kuwata "Cup" (2022) Image courtesy of the artistand Salon 94 Design. © Takuro Kuwata. Photo: Dan Bradica]
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Ends in 24 days

THE GALLERY presents Dancing Udon, an exhibition by artist Takuro Kuwata (born Hiroshima, 1981). Kuwata is known for expanding the possibilities of ceramics, as an art form, and as a functional object.

A collection of porcelain cups by the artist will be on display and on use at our main art space, where guests can order udon noodles served in his handmade cups. THE GALLERY’s owner / chef Hiroki Odo will create three special udon dishes accompany Kuwata’s show. These udon dishes will be available throughout the exhibition. On the opening night of December 8th, we will serve a special menu to celebrate the show and the holiday season.

In addition, a selection of sculptures by Kuwata will be on display at odo Lounge, a hidden getaway nestled behind Chef Odo’s eponymous kaiseki counter. The exhibition is curated by Akiko Ichikawa and presented in collaboration with Salon 94 Design.
The story behind Takuro Kuwata’s collaboration with THE GALLERY

As his sculptures had been getting larger, Kuwata had to find a way to scale up the production of his thick and gooey signature glaze. He found the solution in an udon dough mixer, which he repurposed for his needs. Since this eureka moment, the artist has purchased several mixers which are used for both making art and food. Kuwata has been hosting small parties to entertain friends and studio visitors with handmade udon noodle. This new tradition of sharing udon has tied together a small community around his studio over the years. Chef Odo’s team touched by this coming together of art and food cultures invited Kuwata for an exhibition.

The collection of cups on display has been developed since Kuwata moved to Tajimi in early 2000’s. Situated in the Gifu Prefecture, not far from Nagoya, Tajimi is one of the hearts of Japanese ceramic tradition and retains techniques dating back to 1300 years ago. Traditional Japanese culinary wares are rooted in the tea ceremony tradition and tableware are still based in this culture. Items like yunomi (everyday teacups), rice bowls), chopsticks, traditionally, these items belong to an individual and are not shareable with others, even family members. Ownership of tableware has been very important for Japanese to establish their identities and individualities. Kuwata hopes everyone can find their own cup at the exhibition during their visit and enjoy using it in daily life.

THE GALLERY is presenting 2 series of cups, the BOADER and the DRIPPING. Both are very minimalistic shape decorated with unique cheerful glazing, perfect for the holiday seasons. The BOADER cups, white porcelain covered in stripes of contrasting colors is his first functional collection, an ongoing project which is re-introduced with this show to the international market. Each of Kuwata’s DRIPPING cups are created with a slip casting mold to make the porcelain base, Kuwata then individually applies over the molded cups his signature gold or platinum and seals it with a shino glaze, making each cup unique. Each cup comes in its own tomobako box and is the most economically accessible object in his repertoire.

Takuro Kuwata hybridizes and exaggerates traditional ceramic methods to expand the possibilities of the medium, centering on the form of the tea ceremony bowl. Embracing wabi-sabi, the aesthetic of imperfection, but also looking to designs from Finland’s Arabia and British Wedgwood, Kuwata’s distinctive style is characterized by explosive, surreal surfaces. The artist responds to the geological makeup of his material as he shapes his vessels, often using a mix of fresh clay, remnants of dry clay, and stones. He experiments with traditional techniques such as kairagi-shino, wherein pottery is removed from the kiln before the glaze completely melts, and ishihaze, in which stones are left in clay to burst through the work’s surface during firing. With their surprising, cracked textures and brilliantly conceived palettes, Kuwata’s works gesture to the sublime unpredictability of nature.

Born in 1981 in Hiroshima, Kuwata lives in Gifu. He received degrees from Kyoto Saga University of Arts (2001) and Tajimi City Pottery Design and Technical Center (2007), and apprenticed under master ceramicist Susumu Zaima. He found early inspiration in the work of Toyozo Arakawa. Recently, Kuwata’s work featured in The Flames: The Age of Ceramics at Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris and CHATO at Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum (both 2021). He has exhibited extensively throughout Japan, including in Japanese Kogei | Future Forward at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2015; traveled to Museum of Art and Design, New York). In 2018, he was a finalist for the Loewe Craft Prize, and in 2020 he collaborated with Jonathan Anderson on Loewe’s womenswear show. Kuwata’s work resides in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Takahashi Collection, Tokyo; University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor; Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art and 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, among others.

Media

Schedule

from December 08, 2022 to February 28, 2023

Artist(s)

Takuro Kuwata

Website

https://www.odogallery.nyc (venue's website)

Fee

Depends on each event.

Venue Hours

From 11:00 To 21:00
Closed on Mondays

Access

Address: 17 W 20th St., New York, NY 10011
Phone: 917-454 - 8095

Between 5th and 6th Aves. Subway: R/W to 23rd Street.

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