Photo by Masashi Kuromoto
◄ Overview


Yoichi Shiraishi
Untitled, 2021
Ceramic, porcelain and soil
6 x 7 x 7 inches
Contributed by GALLERY crossing

To make ceramics in Japan is on the one hand entirely natural – it is after all one of the nation’s great artistic traditions – but also, for the same reason, an almost unimaginable challenge. With a legacy of so much beauty, depth and invention, what more is there to contribute? Every generation, every new potter, must answer this question. Many today find their path by going the long way around, finding a totally new way to give shape to clay. Case in point: Yoichi Shiraishi. Still young by the standards of the discipline (he turns forty this year), he makes his objects by first pulverizing blocks of clay-rich soil, then reconstituting them in molds, leaving the organic grain of the material intact. This process involves almost no direct contact with the clay, a striking departure from the medium’s usual investment in tactility. It does however connect to another vaunted Japanese ceramic ideal, the embrace of irregularity and accident. Shirashi brings this out further through firing at a high temperature, purposefully destroying the integrity of the molded form, and allowing the soil to express different colors based on its impurities, and form a rich texture of wrinkles and cracks. The final effect is ruinous, as in a dilapidated or collapsed building, but also has the resolution of an instinct followed to its ultimate conclusion. This is Shiraishi’s first presentation of work in the United States.

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Image credit:
Photo by Masashi Kuromoto
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Photo by Masashi Kuromoto