Ken Matsubara & Toshiya Shimozawa

"Water and Fire "

November 09, 2018 - November 17, 2018
Mokichi Otsuka

Earth.....the fundamental material, forming the land on which we were born.
The spirit of addressing the earth, and creating, serendipitously, forms is critical.
To create without trying to touch up the result too much, To entrust the work to the fire. That is a domain in which my will can do nothing.
Listen to the earth, trust the fire, and wait : and then, again and again, I address the earth.
Thanks your the chance to see you.

by Toshiya Shimozawa

"Shimiozawa's works are shaped by fire. Ken's works are shaped by water..."
These words that Koichi Mori uttered were the starting point of this two-person exhibition.
Their encounter at Hayashiya's tea ceremony in Sapporo had a powerful impact.
Then came the solo exhibition at the LIXIL gallery, where Shimozawa's Rebirth, a flat, banner-style piece intended to be hung on a wall, arounsed a strong desire to see it displayed alongside my own One Drop.
I tossed this idea to Shoko Aono, who instantly accepted it.

by Ken Matsubara

Ken Matsubara and Toshiya Shimozawa Exhibition : Earth, Water Fire, and Wind and Space.

Painter Ken Matsubara and potter Toshiya Shimozawa met two years ago at the tea gathering held in Sapporo, Hokkaido.Matsubara had painted Hokkaido's Mount Yotei, also called Ezo Fuji (Ezo being an old name for Hokkaido). It was Displayed with Shimozawa's 140-centimeter-tall objet title re-birth. For his painting of Mount Yotei, Matsubara used pigments in which he mixed soil from the mountain. Because Shimozawa had used unrefined red clay from Hokkaido, his objet became a dynamic work filled with large cracks and marks left by the firing. It was Seizo Hayashiya, the host of the tea ceremony, who introduced the two artists to each other.
Previously, Matsubara had produced abstract works with sound as their theme, "Thanks to the opportunity to become deeply involved in Mr, Hayashiya's tea gatherings, I began gathering material from mountains, valleys, rivers and seas to create paintings for hanging in the tokonoma, A year earlier (2013), I had begun to focus on materials related to Mt, Fuji, and at the start of this year, I experienced the natural landscaped that water creates, seen seen from a helicopter. Materials related to Mt. Fuji, and at the start of this year, I experienced the natural landscaped that water creates, seen from a helicopter. My mental images and perceptions converged to fill my heart with keshiki,lanscapes that became seeds for new work." His writing about this process is deeply interesting. Matsubara began to create realistic paintings with nature as his theme. Those became stepping stones to his abstract painting Waterscape, in which he captures the sounds of the ripples that the wind creates on the surface of a lake. Here we catch a glimpse of Matsubara's unique world in which imperceptible harmonies of heaven and earth become visible.
Toshiya Shimozawa, one of Hokkaido's leading potters, was awarded the Hokkaido Culture Promotion Prize in 2011. His range of activities extends beyond Japan to include exhibitions in Korea, China and New York. His works evoke traces of life across the aeons in which the soil of Hokkaido was formed. To Shimozawa, pottery in the art of bringing the clay to life, while at the same time questioning his own existence as someone who lived in Hokkaido's vast landscapes.
For this exhibition, we have brought together Matsubara's works Shapes and Waterscape, in which natural landscapes are depicted using pigments incorporating their soils, and Shimozawa's boxes, vases and tea bowls in which the earth of the north is touched and shaped by fire. Earth, water, fire and wind and space are the five elements that form our world : that is the world view that these two artists share and address.

by Koichi Mori (Art Critic and permanent member of the Board of Directors of the Japan Ceramics Society)

Tea bowl
Mokichi Otsuka