"When I decide to express something through clay, I look for my answer in its roughness or fragility, its ephemerality, and its tension or lightness." – Yukiya Izumita
What is it that Yukiya Izumita tries to create with clay?
Through the lamination of numerous layers, resembling burnt newspaper, Izumita creates fantastic figures. Their texture is like rusted iron, conjuring images of ancient, petrified wood. While difficult to comprehend, these forms warm our hearts, and if we look at them closely, they appear to emit pleasant, silent vibrations that then start to expand. They encompass gravity and weightlessness, balance and imbalance, strength and weakness, void and solidity, but above all; they embody Izumita's experiments in discovering the connection between himself and the world.
'I exist through my connection with the clay,' he says. 'When I concentrate on this connection, I become free. When I confront the clay, everything is in a state of chaos, but as I discover a good rhythm between myself and the clay, new works are born. My work consists of becoming aware of this rhythm.'
For Izumita, pottery comprises a physical dialogue between the material of the clay and the attraction he feels towards the scenery he wants to see. How can harmony be found within friction? How can ethereality be found within the heavy clay? How can darkness be turned into light? The genesis of Izumita's work may be said to be human love.
His first exhibition in New York was held in 2013, after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake/Tsunami, and his works possessed the earth's heat. This, his fourth exhibition, displays the wisdom that has resulted from facing the pandemic. The pieces seem to indicate the courage that comes of surmounting loads too great to bear and discovering the beauty within chaos. We hope this exhibition can be a celebration: not only of Izumita's works but of the valiant efforts of everybody living today to overcome tragedy and triumph.