Shaping the Void
An Exhibition of Ceramic Works by Masanobu Ando
May 18-27, 2018
Nalata Nalata is pleased to present Shaping the Void, an exhibition of works by Masanobu Ando, one of the foremost contemporary Japanese artisans working in ceramics.
This exhibition celebrates Masanobu Ando, born 1957, and his admirable career as a ceramic artisan and Tea Master. His functional objects for daily use are crafted with high skill yet are intentionally asymmetrical and irregular, showcasing the marks of their maker.
It is Masanobu Ando’s belief that a well-crafted piece holds both the intangible and tangible acts of its creation. His strong adherence to Zen philosophy in regard to the act of making leaves space for co-creation. The user fills in the blank with purpose thereby discovering the joys of the object for themselves.
“When you come in contact with vessels handcrafted by artisans, senses awaken and things that were invisible come alive.” – Masanobu Ando
Masanobu Ando’s works are predominantly slab-built, using sheets of clay that are pressed into moulds to form a variety of shapes – a technique called tatara that was handed down from previous generations in Tajimi, one of the many renown pottery cities of Japan. Born in the region, the artisan naturally embraced this technique as it enabled expression of his underlying philosophies, which are strongly centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.
A good embodiment of Masanobu Ando’s outlook as a ceramicist may also be seen in his pieces that are metallic glazed. The beauty of the piece will be accentuated over time as the silver or gold glazes oxidize to develop a natural patina.
For the curation of this exhibition, attention has been paid to the processes that went into forming the ceramic vessels from which Masanobu Ando’s philosophies derive. As Ando-san shapes functional objects from clay, the invisible space within seem to come alive, revealed to be the manifestations of the artisan’s relationship with Zen Culture and an appreciation of daily life. The works in this exhibition affirm that within the void lies a profound world to be discovered.
“Instead of applying unnecessary decorative elements to ceramics, we keep blank spaces within sculptures and vessels to inspire the user’s way of interaction with the piece.” – Masanobu Ando
The Air of Box, is our special collaboration piece with the artisan. The three-dimensional hollow object is inspired by the artisan’s original reversely named piece, Box of Air. The original work was created by Masanobu Ando to represent the volume within a Japanese room, allowing users to explore the sacred space by placing objects such as stemmed flowers and pebble stones in the frame to create a harmonious area.
Our collaboration project, ‘Box of Air’, continues to explore this concept in scaled down representations of spiritual realms of space from the sacredness of a room to the house both inner and outer. The work is a one-of-a-kind piece made exclusively for the exhibition.
The opening reception takes place on May 18th , with a special tea ceremony demonstration by Masanobu Ando. Refreshments provided by Mochi Rin. Music provided by Paul Lewis.
A preview of the collection can be found here, accompanying a guest Journal entry written by Masanobu Ando about the exhibition concept.
View a recap of the event here.