The Towada Art Center strives to showcase contemporary art in a broader, more inclusive context that interprets both traditional and contemporary handicrafts as important examples of art. Our first exhibition held with a particular focus on a specific craft is Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Consideration on Contemporary Ceramics.
Renowned artist and a major collector, curator, and gallerist, Takashi Murakami is a man of many faces. In more recent years, Murakami has turned his gaze to ceramics, and to Japanese contemporary ceramics in particular. He is not only a collector of ceramics, but is also the proprietor of Oz Zingaro, a shop specializing in contemporary ceramics, and has been a forerunner in bringing these ceramics onto the international art scene.
His vast collection shown during Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection ―From Shōhaku and Rosanjin to Anselm Kiefer― at the Yokohama Museum of Art in 2016 grabbed the attention of museum-goers for its vast scale, which includes over 400 pieces of contemporary ceramics.
In this exhibition, we plan to show over 300 artworks from 28 artists in Murakami’s collection—a roster that includes ceramic artists such as Ryo Aoki, Masanobu Ando, Shin Murata, and Aso Kojima as well as ceramic works by contemporary artists like Yoshitomo Nara, Naoki Koide, Chiho Aoshima, Otani Workshop, Gabriel Orozco, Rosemarie Trockel, and Klara Kristalova, among others.
From the chanoyu tea ceremony of Rikyuu to the more recent mingei folk art movement of Soetsu Yanagi, and from the ceramics of swanky department store galleries to those of little-known craft fairs, the mind of Murakami is laid bare for the audience in a journey into the history of ceramics that uncovers the value of Japanese ceramics and the current state of aesthetics.
This exhibition marks Murakami’s first time curating a ceramics exhibition at an art museum. It is a reconsideration of the ceramic context and a compelling attempt to grasp the essence of what we consider art.
*Main photo image: Mikiya Takimoto